REGINA -- The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Saskatchewan Division, is launching a new program called BounceBack, giving Saskatchewan residents another option for mental health support.

BounceBack is designed for people over the age of 15 who are experiencing low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry.

The program gives people access to a mental health worker over the phone as well as cognitive exercises.

CMHA said this program is especially needed right now with the increasing rates of depression and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's just critically important right now that people have somewhere to reach out when they're struggling," Phyllis O'Connor, the executive director of CMHA Saskatchewan, said.

"With so much uncertainty around COVID - and nobody knows when this is going to and I wish we did, but we don't - It's causing some serious mental illness, I mean we're seeing it in the area of overdoses we're seeing it in mental health problems. This is a big thing and we really need to have those tools for people to find help.”

The program has already launched in Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia.

BounceBack in Saskatchewan was sponsored by Bell Let's Talk. The mental health initiative sponsored the program to be available in other provinces and territories.

"We know that people are experiencing additional mental health stressors," Chair of Bell Let's Talk, Mary Deacon, said. "But the research is showing as well that it will likely continue long after the pandemic is over. Programs like BounceBack are going to be so important not only now but in the future."