There Is No Health Without Mental Health

There Is No Health Without Mental Health
Badri G. Rickhi Psychologist Calgary, Alberta

Dr. Badri Rickhi is a psychologist practicing in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Rickhi specializes in the treatment of health mental problems, and helps people to cope with their mental illnesses. As a psychologist, Dr. Rickhi evaluates and treats patients through a variety of methods, most typically being psychotherapy or talk... more

Mental ill-health is among the principal causes of suffering and disability globally, and will soon be a leading health-related cost. While it affects everyone, children and adolescents are arguably the most vulnerable.

Mental illness presents a growing threat to Canada’s youth. Consider these facts from the Canadian Mental Health Association: approximately 10-20% of Canada’s youth are affected by a mental disorder or illness, 3.2 million youth aged 12-19 years old in Canada are at risk of developing depression, and the country has the third highest youth suicide rate in the industrialized world with 4,000 deaths per year by suicide.

While the prevalence of mental illness among youth increases, the number of affordable and accessible services to address this demand is limited. Uniquely designed to meet this growing need, Calgary-based CINIM (Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine) has developed BreathingRoomTM, a transformational e-mental health program designed to give children and young adults practical tools for dealing with life’s challenges.

Using digital technology formats to appeal to today’s youth, BreathingRoom is available with online and App platforms. The 20-hour eight-module resilience building program aims to empower struggling youth with ways to bounce back from setbacks and to better manage symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety while strengthening coping strategies.

Interactive and fun, the program speaks directly to children through music, videos, comedy clips, personal stories from other young people, visualizations, and practical exercises, which can be used immediately for effective and lasting results.

Many reported that as a result of the program, they are more comfortable seeking help. A beneficial adjunct to conventional treatment with the ability to be seamlessly incorporated into school curricula, the program is a valuable tool that is being used to bridge long wait times for consultation and to decrease stigma.

BreathingRoom is one of the few evidence-based, e-health tools in the world, and the first for Canada. This award-winning program was developed in partnership with Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services and is supported by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and leading mental health professionals.

In Canada, only 1 out of every 5 children who need mental health services receives them. Endorsing programs such as BreathingRoom might just help someone who needs it.