E-Health Options Support Mental Health
The Department of Health and Community Services has unveiled a number of innovative e-Health technologies designed to support adult and youth mental health. The services offer self-help information, self-management tools, connection to localized services and even tele-health and online coaching.
Bridge the gAPP (BTG) is an online resource designed to support mental wellness and act as an early intervention for mental health and substance use problems. BTG is available to both youth (13-18) and adults (18+) through two separate age-appropriate platforms via websites and apps. Individuals can visit www.bridgethegapp.ca to download the apps.
BTG is appropriately named as it effectively “bridges the gap” between those who need help and the resources available to help people cope. BTG instantly provides access to self-help information on mental health and substance use topics, coping strategies for stress, tools to support recovery and a service directory which connects individuals to emergency services and is searchable by region, postal code or with a GPS locator. Other BTG features include a Mood Meter, Art Room, Worry Jar, Wall of Hope and Get Inspired sections, which were developed by individuals with lived experience and continue to be populated by app/website users.
BTG is made possible by the hard work and contributions of many community partners and organizations, staff at the regional health authorities, the Provincial Government, the Premier’s Youth Advisory Committee and individuals with lived experience. Their valuable input has enriched these services.
The Breathing Room Program is an eight module, online self-management program which helps youth ages 13-24 manage stress, depression and anxiety. Developed by the Canadian Institute for Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM), Breathing Room is a clinically proven, award-winning program endorsed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the first early adopters of this program, which is now available through the youth and adult Bridge the gAPP websites and apps. Breathing Room creators engaged over 100 young people in the development of the program, which walks people through 8 modules to gain practical strategies to better manage life. Through videos, stories and activities, this interactive experience offers transformational learning with fresh ideas and tools to help people move forward.
The Strongest Families Program provides care to families by teaching skills through a distance coaching approach over the phone and online. The award-winning program supports children and youth ages 3-17 with mental health and behavioural difficulties (i.e., anxiety, ADHD, bullying behaviours, etc.) that can cause stress at school or at home. The program is proven to improve parental mood and stress, increase school participation, and overcome bullying by increasing pro-social behaviours. Strongest Families offers support and coaching to both children and their parents/guardians from the convenience of their homes. Families can access the program by calling their local mental health and addictions office and requesting a referral to the program.
The above e-Health technologies can be used on their own or in conjunction with other services and supports. Please consider downloading the apps, visiting the websites and promoting these services to your friends, family members, coworkers and clients. We can all benefit from these services which aim to strengthen mental health.by