Navigating through the pandemic without feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression is not an easy feat. It has now been more than nine months since COVID-19 changed the world as we know it, and each month brings new challenges, uncertainty, and changes in routine that are putting Canadians’ mental health at risk.
To maintain strong mental wellbeing during this time, many are relying on connecting with others, scheduling time for themselves, and establishing new, healthy habits. However, there is a large portion of the population that is seeking additional support but don’t know where to start.
How can cognitive behavioural therapy help?
If you can relate to feelings of ongoing stress, anxiety, or depression, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a great solution to explore. CBT is one of the most effective forms of therapy and works by helping you understand and change the thought patterns, emotional responses, and behaviours that are causing problems. With CBT, you work with a professional therapist, who guides you through your therapy to improve your health and wellbeing.
We examined AbilitiCBT by Morneau Shepell, an internet-based CBT solution that works the same way as traditional CBT, but through a digital platform accessible through an app or a web version. AbilitiCBT offers programs designed to help address anxiety and depression symptoms related to the uniquely challenging aspects of pandemics, including uncertainty, social isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload, and stress management. And, it’s free for all residents who are 16 or older in Ontario and Manitoba.
Not a one-size-fits-all therapy
As soon as you complete your self-assessment and get started with an AbilitiCBT program, you are paired with a professional therapist so you can discuss your personal concerns and ensure the program is right for you.
According to AbilitiCBT’s clinical director Linda Naranjit, “Every person has unique concerns and experiences stress in different ways, and our therapists ensure that all users of the program are set up with a program that is best suited for their individual needs. We work with patients to look at their worries in a realistic way and build a detailed action plan that works towards an attainable solution.”
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness
While it can be intimidating to seek support, digital CBT is a great option as it allows you to take your mental wellbeing into your own hands by providing full control over the pace at which you complete the program. CBT also helps make you stronger and more in tune with the way you think, by learning to recognize and change the negative thoughts that enter your mind. As you work through the program, you will begin to acknowledge and respond to your thoughts and feelings, instead of reacting to them without any control.
If you’re one of the thousands of Canadians needing help to manage stress during this challenging time, AbilitiCBT is easy to use and accessible 24/7 from any device. To learn more or sign up, visit myicbt.com/home.