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Thinking of suicide? Please call 9-8-8 or visit 988.ca
Youth FAQs

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers

I think I might hurt myself or someone else. What should I do? 

Call 9-1-1, go to the nearest emergency room, or follow the emergency instructions provided by your doctor, mental health professional, or care team. 

Talk to someone right away 

  • Call 24/7 Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566 
  • Call 24/7 Kids Help Phone Canada at 1-800-668-6868 or text 686868 
  • Call 24/7 Hope for Wellness at 1-855-242-3310 

Crisis lines aren’t only for people in crisis. You can call for information on local services or if you just need someone to talk to.  

What to expect:

Does BounceBack® cost anything? 

Nothing at all. The BounceBack® program and materials are free. We believe that BounceBack® provides core mental health skills that all individuals should have access to, regardless of their situation. 

Who is BounceBack® for? 

BounceBack® is for anyone 13 and older who is struggling with low mood, anxiety, stress, or worry.  

Does BounceBack® work?

BounceBack® is based on research evidence which shows that simple skills and techniques are effective in helping people to overcome low mood and worry. The BounceBack® approach is based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  

People who participated in BounceBack® said they felt less worry, experienced less symptoms of depression and anxiety, and felt they had improved confidence – especially those who felt mild to moderate amounts of these feelings. From over 15,000 people who completed the coaching program, 90% said they would recommend it to a friend or family member and 85% felt they could maintain the changes they made.   

If you’re not sure BounceBack® coaching is the right fit, you can try the online and video (access code bbtodaybc for the video) platforms, and additional resources that you can use to explore other supports are available in this FAQ under the section “How do I find additional help for my mental health or for someone I care about?” 

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? 

BounceBack® is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT helps us understand how the way we think (“cognitive”) and the way we respond (“behavioural”) affect each other. An exercise might help you see how this works: imagine you’re walking in a park. You see a friend. The friend walks by, but doesn’t acknowledge you. One way to think about this is to assume that your friend doesn’t like you. This way of thinking might then lead you to get angry. BUT you could also assume that your friend is having a tough day and missed you because they were thinking about their own problems. The second thought might lead you to feel concerned for your friend rather than upset. If you dismiss the first thought and concentrate on the second thought, it’s possible you’ll stop feeling angry and make the effort to connect with your friend instead.   

CBT breaks down the situation to help us understand how the way we think (“cognitive”) and the way we act (“behavioural”) affect each other. By separating the way we feel from the way we act, we gain more control of our mind and therefore choose healthier behaviours. In our park example, we might dismiss our initial anger and make the effort to connect with our friend. You can see this in action in the program trailer video, here

How is BounceBack® different from counselling?

BounceBack® involves self-led learning with added supportive coaching (if you choose the coaching platform). Think of the workbooks as the teacher and the coach as your guide. Your BounceBack® telephone coach will:  

  • provide support and encouragement  
  • help clarify the lessons in the workbooks  
  • help you apply what you’re learning to your own life  
  • keep you motivated 

In counselling, the clinician – such as a social worker, psychologist, or a registered counsellor – is responsible for both teaching and supporting you through the process.   

What do the coaching sessions look like? 

Your first calls with your coach are an opportunity for you to, learn more about the program and ensure that BounceBack® is the right fit for you. You will work with the same coach for the entire program and have control over your scheduling. Your phone sessions will usually be 20-30 minutes long and are typically scheduled every 2-3 weeks. You can pick which booklets you want to focus on. You will work on the materials between sessions and during your call your coach will guide you to reflect on your progress. 

Sometimes you might not be able to finish a booklet in between calls. That is completely fine, your coach can help you work through difficult times where you have trouble completing the booklets. In total, you will have six months to complete up to six sessions. 

Once you have completed your sessions, you can choose to book up to two booster sessions with your coach. We want to make sure you are set up for success. These booster sessions can give you some extra support if you need it. You have up to six months to use these boosters from the time you finish your initial sessions. 

How much time do you recommended I spend on BounceBack® each week?

We suggest that you spend 20-30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week on the materials. We know everyone’s life is different and so are your commitments. What’s important is finding a pace that works best for you. Practicing what you learn in BounceBack® is ongoing. Mental health maintenance is a daily process and we hope the program will help you build this routine in your own life. 

Do I have to finish the program? 

You do not need to finish the program once you start. An excellent way to think of BounceBack® is like a buffet: take the skills you need and leave the rest. For example, those who are enrolled in BounceBack® Coaching, have up to six sessions available to them, but some participants might find that four is enough. 

Getting Started: 

How long is the waitlist for BounceBack®? 

There is no waitlist for any of the BounceBack® platforms! For the coaching platform, once we receive your referral, our team usually needs 5 to 10 business days to get you set up. The online and video (access code bbtodaybc for the video) platforms are accessible as soon as you sign up.  

How do I get a referral for the coaching program? 

There are many professionals who can fill out the referral form for you. This can be a doctor, a nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, your school counsellor, or from a Foundry Virtual Counsellor. Based on where you live in BC, one may be more accessible than the other. You can print off the form here and take it with you or ask them to fill it out online at www.bouncebackbc.ca. Alternatively, if you have a regular primary care provider (i.e. doctor, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist) you can self-refer by completing the online referral form. When filling out the self-referral, you will need to fill in the contact information for your primary care provider in this form so that we can contact them on your behalf. You should not be charged by the physician’s office to fill out this form.  

Why do I need a referral for the coaching platform? 

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that you have the support you need to navigate your mental health journey. The reason we ask you to see either a doctor, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist or your school counsellor is to ensure that you have all the support you need. You and the service provider can work together as a team to decide if BounceBack® is a good fit at that particular time, or if another program may be a better fit. Since we only deliver this particular program, it’s difficult for us to play that role and offer other alternatives. We feel that a doctor, nurse practitioner or a school counsellor can provide support even after you complete BounceBack® or if you ever feel it’s not what you want. 

What can I expect from my visit with my doctor/nurse practitioner or school counsellor when I go in for a referral? 

Your appointment will likely be a 15 minute conversation with your doctor, and may be longer with other service providers such as your school counsellor. They will likely ask you what brought you in. Once you mention that you want a referral to the BounceBack® coaching platform, they will likely take the opportunity to ask you questions about your mental health and wellbeing, and will review your eligibility for the program. From there, they will help you decide if BounceBack® is the right fit, or suggest alternative options. 

What if I don’t feel comfortable approaching my doctor for a referral? 

It’s common to feel nervous about approaching a medical professional for support. For help with how to talk to your doctor about mental health, this site can give you some advice to start. This is a great time to lean on your social support network. You can ask a friend or an adult that you trust to accompany you to your appointment or offer emotional support. Here is a suggestion for what you can say or text to them:   

“Hey J. I’ve been struggling with my mental health and found a program that I think could help. I’m nervous about going to my doctor for the referral. Can you come with me?”   

You can also ask your school counsellor to fill out the referral form for you. Ask them to visit the bouncebackbc.ca website and all of the information they need to make a referral can be found there. 

I don’t have a family doctor, how can I get a referral? 

Many British Columbians do not have family doctors. If that is the case, you can take the referral form to a walk-in clinic or virtual clinic or direct them to visit www.bouncebackbc.ca. A nurse practitioner or psychiatrist can also refer you to the program. Please note that you should not be charged by the physician’s office to fill out this form. Ask your physician’s office to contact us or visit the website if there are any concerns. 

Does my doctor think I have a mental illness if I was referred to the program? 

Not necessarily. Often low mood and worry problems don’t qualify for a formal mental health diagnosis, but they deserve attention in their own right. BounceBack® is designed for people with mild to moderate mental health challenges that get in the way of life satisfaction. 

Do I need a mental health diagnosis to use BounceBack®? 

You don’t need a diagnosis to participate in BounceBack®. In the online and coaching platform you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire from time to time. This helps us figure out if the program is helping you. Similar questionnaires may be used by your doctor for diagnosis purposes. Keep in mind that BounceBack® and BounceBack® coaches are not meant to provide a diagnosis; it’s best if you book an appointment with a doctor for more information how to get diagnosed. 


Do I need parent/guardian permission to participate in BounceBack®? 

You do not need permission from a parent or guardian to participate. If you choose the telephone coaching program, you will be asked to provide a parent or guardian’s contact information. Unless your coach believes you are at risk of hurting yourself or someone else, your coach will not contact your parent or guardian, and will never share any personal or private information about you without your permission. If you are at risk, your coach will tell you if your parent or guardian will be contacted prior to contacting them. 

If my parent/guardian contacts you, what are you going to tell them? 

During your first session, your BounceBack® coach will ask you how much information you would like your coach to share if your parent or guardian contacted them. At most, with your permission, a coach would only share general facts about your participation, like the topics you’ve chosen to work on. That’s it. Involving a parent or guardian is generally beneficial, but it’s up to you to decide how much you would like to share, and with whom. 

I don’t want anything sent to my home address, how will you ensure my privacy? 

We will not send you any mail to your home address, unless you specify that you would like something mailed to you. For instance, in the coaching platform, you have the option to receive the booklets in the mail or use an online platform. Your coach will confirm where you would like your booklets mailed prior to sending them. The packaging will be completely anonymous and will not include any CMHA or BounceBack® labels. If you do not want materials sent to your home address, you can ask your school counsellor if they can be sent there instead. 

How does BounceBack® protect my privacy? 

Protecting your privacy is very important to us. All information that we collect from you in the BounceBack® program is stored electronically on a highly secure Canadian-based server. Our coaches are trained to ensure that your privacy and confidentiality are upheld to the highest standard. 

Additional Support:

What if I want more than 6 sessions in the coaching platform? 

Once you have completed your sessions, you will have the opportunity to book up to 2 additional sessions with your coach. We want to ensure you are set up for success. These sessions are meant to provide you with the extra support in case you need it. Oh, and you can use these for up to 6 months after your 6th session! 

Is there an option to work with someone in-person instead of over the phone? 

Currently, BounceBack® is not offered in-person. If you prefer to work in a group-setting, you may enjoy the Living Life to the Full program. It’s an 8 week group course that is similar to BounceBack®. Click here to see if there is a course near you. 

How do I find additional help for my mental health or for someone I care about? 

Many options are available. Here are a few we suggest: 

  • Talk to a doctor or your school counsellor 
  • Visit KidsHelpPhone 
  • Visit Foundry 
  • Visit HeretoHelp 
  • Visit the CrisisCentre 
  • Call 811 or visit HealthLinkBC to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak to a registered nurse about symptoms you’re worried about, or a pharmacist about medication questions. 

Have a question that is not listed here?

Contact us and chat with a BounceBack® staff member. No automated messages, we promise!