Thinking of suicide or worried about someone you know? Call or text 9-8-8, toll-free, anytime, for support.

Youth FAQ

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 Kids Help Phone Canada at 1-800-668-6868 or text 686868

    Call 24/7 Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566

    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® Telephone Coaching program and materials are free. We believe that BounceBack® provides core skills that all individuals should have access to.

  • Who is BounceBack® for?

    BounceBack® is for anyone 15 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). Research shows that CBT can be just as effective as medication for treating depression and anxiety disorders.

    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 11,000 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.

    We highly recommend giving the program a try on any of the platforms. If the program isn’t working for you, that’s okay! It just means a different strategy might work better.

  • 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 situation 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 preoccupied with a difficult problem. 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.

  • How is BounceBack® different from counselling?

    BounceBack® is a self-led learning program with added supportive coaching. BounceBack® is structured so that the workbooks are the teacher and the coach is your guide. 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. On the other hand, 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
  • What does a coaching session look like?

    Your first call with your coach is an opportunity 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 two or three 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®?

    We’ve got good news! There is no waitlist for any of the BounceBack® telephone coaching programs. Once our team receives your self-referral, we will contact you within five to ten business days to schedule an information session where you will meet your coach and learn more about the program. You can also register for the BounceBack® Today video series and learn more about the content of the program while you wait for the information session.

  • How do I sign up?

    Fill out a self-referral form online. The intake form takes 10-15 minutes to complete. You will need to provide information for yourself, your guardian and provide the contact information of a primary care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist). There is also a questionnaire to complete online and they help determine if BounceBack® is right for you.

  • Do I need a doctor or nurse practitioner to access BounceBack®? What if I don’t have one?

    The BounceBack® telephone coaching program requires you to list a primary care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist) that will accept clinical responsibility for you during the program. We recognize that many Canadians do not have family doctors or a primary care practitioner. If that is the case, you can visit a walk-in clinic or access a virtual health clinic to request follow-up from a primary care provider. This person must agree to take clinical responsibility for your health for the duration of the program (3 to 6 months). We recommend that you have the information sheet handy and complete your registration form together with this person. This process will ensure that the program can meet your needs. BounceBack® Today Videos do not require a primary care provider.

  • Why do I need a primary care provider to participate in the coaching program?

    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 provide contact information for a doctor, nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist is to ensure that you have all the support you need will you participate in the program. You and the practitioner 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. 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 psychiatrist can provide support even after you complete BounceBack® or if you ever feel it’s not what you need.

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

    You don’t need a diagnosis to participate in BounceBack®. In the coaching program 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 able 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. You will be asked to provide a parent or guardian’s contact information. Unless your coach believes you are at risk to 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 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 six sessions in the coaching platform?

    Once you have completed your sessions, you will have the opportunity to book up to two 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 six months after your sixth session!

  • 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 your doctor or visit a health clinic.

    Contact the CMHA in your community. There are 330 CMHA locations across the country. Each CMHA offers its own programs and services unique to the community it serves. To find the CMHA in your community, please go to Find Your CMHA.

    For information about other services in your area contact 211 or visit 211 is Canada’s primary source of information for government and community-based, non-clinical health and social services. The free and confidential service can be accessed 24/7, in more than 150 languages, by phone, chat, text, and web. Toll-Free Help Line: 2-1-1 (anywhere in Canada; options for French or English support). Note: This is not a Crisis

    Anxiety Canada
    Expert tool and resources to help Canadians manage anxiety. This website has specific materials for adults, youth and children living with anxiety.

    Talk Suicide Canada
    Toll-free phone support available in English and French for anyone in Canada that is thinking about, is or has been affected by suicide. Text and Chat Support also available.
    • Toll-free Crisis line (24/7): 1-833-456-4566
    • Text Support (4pm-12am ET): 45645
    • Chat Support (times vary by region)

    Kids Help Phone
    Crisis support and access to professional counselling for young people in both English and French. First nations, Inuk and Métis crisis responders available via texting and messaging options (upon request).
    • Toll-free Crisis line (24/7): 1-800-668-6868
    • Text Support (24/7): text CONNECT to 686868
    • Facebook Messaging Support (24/7)

    Hope for Wellness Help Line
    The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate help to all Indigenous peoples across Canada via the toll-free Help Line or online chat (available on the website). This service provides culturally competent counselling and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Toll-free Crisis Line (24/7): 1-855-242-3310
    • Chat Support (24/7)

  • Have a question that is not listed here?

    Contact us and a BounceBack® staff member will connect with you as soon as possible.