News Release


Stay Home, Connect Online or Call For Mental Health Support

BounceBack® and Big White Wall® Support Achievement of Mental Wellness

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Thunder Bay, ON, January 25, 2019 – The North West Local Health Integration Network (North West LHIN) is pleased to announce new, free, technology-based mental health resources available to the people of Northwestern Ontario.

Supported by funding from the Government of Ontario, the services are designed to help adults and youth manage mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Big White Wall® ( is an anonymous online mental health platform that is available 24/7, without the need of a referral, for people over the age of 16. Coordinated by the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), Big White Wall® provides a supportive online community, education and guided self-help programs with the aim of reducing social isolation for people dealing with anxiety and depression.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario Division is offering BounceBack®, ( a free skill-building program designed to people over the age of 15 better manage low mood, stress and worry. The program offers two types of support: one-on-one telephone coaching using workbooks, and a series of online videos that offer practical tips. People interested in this program are encouraged to talk with their family physician or nurse practitioner to get a referral. The online videos are accessible at any time at: (using access code: bbtodayon). Bounceback® and Big White Wall® are funded as part of a three-year structured psychotherapy demonstration project.


"The North West LHIN is committed to improving access to mental health and addictions services by traditional face-to-face means and new innovative ways of providing care. With the help of the Ontario Telemedicine Network and the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario, we are helping to promote these free programs. We would like to thank the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the funding for this program and we are grateful to our partners for their support.”

-Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, CEO, North West LHIN


"Many people struggling with depression and anxiety can feel isolated, and sometimes that feeling worsens during the winter when it is harder for many to get out. There are lots of ways to work towards better mental health including getting good sleep, staying physically active, and connecting with others. BounceBack® and Big White Wall® offer unique ways to seek support and be connected to other people. Patients in my practice who I have referred to these programs have found them really helpful.”

- Dr. Sarah Newbery, Vice President, Clinical Services, North West LHIN

“Basically I lived in a remote area and did not have access to immediate service. With Big White Wall® there was immediacy of contact, either with someone going through a similar situation or who had been, or a Wall Guide who could step in and give me nice guidance to get me through safely.”

- Big White Wall® Member

“I greatly benefited from the program. I was very motivated but slightly skeptical at first. Within two weeks of starting, I noticed positive changes in my behaviour. My coach has been very helpful and has been closely following my progress."

- BounceBack® Participant


Background Information

The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) brings virtual care innovation to the health care system so that the people of Ontario can get the care they need, when and where they need it most: at home, in their community or in hospital. For more than a decade, the Ontario Telemedicine Network has increased access to health care and education across the province with one of the world’s most extensive telemedicine networks. Working with its many partners and leveraging its unique knowledge of health care and digital technology, the Ontario Telemedicine Network addresses challenges by introducing and spreading new ways of delivering care that benefit patients, care providers and the health care system. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Ontario Telemedicine Network is funded by the Government of Ontario. For more information please visit

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario was incorporated in 1952 and since then it has been providing community-based programs and services across the province to meet the needs of individuals seeking support with their mental health and addictions. The 30 local Canadian Mental Health Association branches are part of a community-based mental health sector which services approximately 500,000 Ontarians annually.

The North West LHIN is responsible for planning, funding and integrating local health services as well as delivering home and community care services. The LHIN holds accountability agreements with hospitals, long-term care homes, community health centres, mental health and addictions agencies, and other community support services. The North West LHIN and its Board of Directors are responsible for more than $700 million of health care services delivered in Northwestern Ontario.


Media Contacts

Robert Servais, Communications and Media Lead, North West LHIN
Telephone: 807-684-9425 extension 2045

Joe Kim, Director, Communications, Canadian Mental Health Association
Telephone: 416-977-5580 extension 4141

Gillian Wansbrough, Ontario Telemedicine Network
Telephone: 416-446-4110 extension 4004