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400K bump in funding announced for U of R cognitive behaviour therapy program


An online therapy program, meant to make mental health services more accessible for everyone, has received a substantial bump in funding from the Government of Saskatchewan.

The University of Regina’s Online Therapy Unit team has received an additional $400,000 in funding from the provincial government towards their virtual therapy program.

Psychology professor Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos has been leading the launch of the program.

She expressed hope that it will help make therapy an option for those not able to take advantage of current programs.

“Specifically barriers like living in a rural and remote area I have a limited time because it may be personal circumstances and concerns about privacy or desire to learn about mental health in a different type of way,” she explained.

The funding will be directed towards Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICBT).

Affordable, timely, and credible mental health services may not be accessible to everyone.

ICBT is intended to combat that issue.

While the website is run through the University of Regina, it is not exclusive to students.

Dr. Hadjistavropoulos emphasised the fact that the service is open to people of all backgrounds.

“We have clients who are 18 years old, who are not in university or they’re working at jobs, different types of jobs, to 88 years old,” she said.

“We’ve had clients who are … well into their 80’s who are still looking for ways to work on their mental health.”

Minister of mental health and addictions, Everett Hindley, explained how the funding is intended to benefit everyone, specifically those in more remote and rural areas.

“It’s not really a one size fits all approach,” Hindley told CTV News.

“People have different needs when it comes to support and services they require. I think this is a perfect example of that … using the online virtual therapy component provides another tool for people able to access it, regardless of where they might live in Saskatchewan.”

The program is free to access. All therapists working with the program are graduate level trained, with master’s degrees in social work and psychology. Top Stories

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