CMHA wants to help your mental health bounce back

The organization shows that the overwhelming number of Ontarians struggling during the pandemic aren't alone.

Despite many of us getting a mood-boost from getting their first COVID-19 vaccines the Ontario division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) warns that only 35% of people in the province consider their current state of mental health as being at least very good – a significant decrease from 52% who said the same last May.

One of the virtual mental health supports the CMHA is running includes BounceBack, a guided self-help program for people 15 and up who are experiencing mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression, or may be feeling low, stressed, worried, irritable or angry.

To let Ontarians know about the service, it created a campaign with STC Storytellers that shows they are not the only ones feeling this way. In particular, it seems to focus on the often cyclical nature of mental health struggles, when people feel like they are letting people down when nothing feels normal or they aren’t themselves. In some digital ads for the campaign, these words fill the screen, showing how overwhelming they can become.

But they all eventually get a slight look of optimism on their face – even though mental health struggles aren’t the kind of thing that can be solved in a day, the BounceBack program aims to give them the tools and techniques to manage the stresses they may face in their day-to-day lives.

CMHA warns that approximately 80% of Ontarians think we will be in a serious post-pandemic mental health crisis, up from 66% from CMHA Ontario’s August poll. The mental health organization’s insights also reveal what it calls a troubling pattern of loneliness, with 57% of Ontarians feeling more lonely since the pandemic’s onset, and 47% wishing they had someone to talk to.

Nationally, things fare no better: research from the Canadian Mental Health Association and University of British Columbia released this past December reveal that 40% of Canadians reported that their mental health has deteriorated since the pandemic started.

Founded in 1952, CHMA Ontario provides community-based programs and services to individuals seeking support with their mental health and addictions. The organization has 30 local CMHA branches that are part of a community-based mental health sector which serves approximately 500,000 Ontarians annually.