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BC youth encouraged to #CelebrateEverydayVictories.

The Canadian Mental Health Association(CMHA), BC Division kicks off its 68th annual Mental Health Week (May 6 -12) celebrations with a new campaign – CelebrateEverydayVictories -encouraging youth and young adults throughout British Columbia to pause and acknowledge their small daily wins and celebrate their journey towards positive mental wellness.

During Mental Health Week British Columbians are encouraged to #GetLoud on social media about their daily accomplishments in order to inspire and encourage other youth and young adults in their recovery using the hashtag#CelebrateEverydayVictories.

When we are experiencing depression or anxiety, getting through a typical day can be a struggle and sometimes the smallest of tasks, like doing laundry or making a healthy meal, can feel hard to conquer. However, overcoming and celebrating these challenges is an important step towards feeling better because the cumulative power of small steps taken right now can lead to big changes in the future.

“Recovery from depression or anxiety is a process and the #CelebrateEverydayVictories campaign is all about feeling pride and accomplishment in your progress towards regaining your mental health” explains Bev Gutray, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division. “If we focus too much on the bigger goals from the offset, it’s easy to start feeling like we’ll never get there. That’s why these seemingly mundane daily achievements are so powerful and important. They motivate us to keep going and each win brings us closer to our eventual goal.

“It’s not about being the best, it’s about doing our best. Everyone’s mental health experiences are different and one person’s small triumph may look completely different to someone else's”.

Celebrating these small steps is powerful because it reinforces a sense of achievement and activates the reward center of our brains, releasing dopamine. Dopamine then energizes us with feel-good emotions and creates a feeling of being rewarded which in turn motivates us and spurs us on to achieve even more.

For youth requiring support and encouragement to regain their mental health CMHA BC Division offers BounceBack®-a free skill-building program which has proven effective for adults experiencing mild-to-moderate depression and/or anxiety since 2008.

BounceBack® was extended and adapted for youth and young adults aged 15+ in 2017. Based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), BounceBack® is designed to help manage feelings of low mood and to build resiliency. The program is available across British Columbia, with or without telephone coaching, and can be accessed straight away -no waitlists!

“About one in seven young people in BC will experience a mental illness at some point. We want youth and young adults experiencing anxiety and depression to know that help is available,” continues Gutray. “With the right tools and practice, they can bounce back and reclaim their mental health”.

Alicia Raimundo participated in the BounceBack® program when she was struggling with low mood.

“BounceBack® really helped me regain my strength during some tough times and taught me a lot of valuable skills for building my resiliency,” says Raimundo. “Stopping to celebrate the little victories really helped change how my day was going.

“When things were going well I celebrated making a homemade meal and creating art. But, when I was feeling particularly low, an achievement could be simply getting out of bed and taking a shower. Both are victories and both are equally valid.

“BounceBack® really worked for me because in-person services were inaccessible to me because of location. It was great to be able to chat with a coach who understood and validated me and supported me to work through the program materials at my own pace and in my own space.”

Join the conversation and share your everyday victory on social media using #CelebrateEverydayVictories and go to www.bouncebackbc.cafor more information on how BounceBack® can help.

If you or someone you know is in crisis now, please call 310-6789 from anywhere in the province –no area code necessary.

BounceBack® was created by CMHA BC in 2008 and is a core CMHA service that is available to all British Columbians and is funded by the Provincial Health Services Authority and BC’s Ministry of Health.