Calgary MFRC: MindBeacon Digital Therapy
Calgary MFRC is one of the recipients of the 2021 Bell True Patriot Love Fund. Below they’ve answered some questions to help us learn a little more about their program, what they hope to achieve, and what they aim to do with the funding provided.
1. Tell me a little bit about your organization and its mission
Our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) soldiers, Veterans and their family members face unique challenges that make being in the military an occupation different from any other. At the Calgary Military Family Resource Centre (CMFRC) we aim to help lessen the impact of these unique challenges, which includes frequent separations, extended deployments and risks.
We support families of CAF members within our service area of Southern Alberta, including Calgary, Lethbridge and Red Deer. Our programs and services fall into areas such as personal development workshops, deployment services, counselling, health and mental wellness, child and youth programs, and social events.
The Calgary MFRC is a registered charity run by a volunteer board of directors that was started in 1991 by the Department of National Defence in conjunction with the Military Family Support Program.
Healthy, resilient military families are at the core of a modern professional military force, influencing recruiting, retention, morale, performance, reputation, operational readiness and operational sustainability.
2. Can you describe your program in 3-4 sentences, including outlined objectives the program aims to achieve?
The Calgary MFRC are partnering with MindBeacon to provide digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, designed to effectively help people living with symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and sleep problems.
This clinically proven approach, guided by a therapist, helps people become more resilient to life’s many challenges. It has been designed to help individuals (age 16 years or older) experiencing mild to moderate symptoms related to depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and sleeping problems.
The idea behind MindBeacon is to offer quick and easy access to a mental health professional to members of our community dealing with mental health issues requiring psychotherapy.
The funding would enable us to offer 50 participants free immediate access to:
- Online assessment
- Personalized digital therapy guided by a dedicated therapist
- Unlimited therapist messaging
- Up to 12 weeks of active therapy
- Ongoing passive therapy
3. What is the desired outcome of your program and its impact on the Veteran and military community?
Participation in this program will support the individual participating in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and provide prompt treatment which will have a positive impact on the entire family. This program will directly impact the mental health and wellbeing of the 50 participants, and in turn would indirectly impact the wellbeing of their families and improve a family’s ability to deal with future mental health issues with greater resilience.
The following goals and outcomes are as follows:
- Reduce mental health symptoms and improve overall mental health and wellbeing.
- Individuals and families have increased strategies to manage future mental health and lifestyle stressors.
- Participants are supported through the referral process by trained practitioners.
- Participants will report a reduction in the severity of their symptoms.
- Participants will report increased tools and lowered mental health issues when dealing with exceptional needs of CAF and Veteran lifestyle.
- Participants will report enhanced ability to overcome challenges with mental health and well-being issues.
4. What does this grant from the Bell True Patriot Love Fund mean to you?
We are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding from the Bell True Patriot Love Fund. In a community survey completed in July 2021, 53% of respondents were struggling with stress-related issues, 32% were struggling with mental fatigue, and 25% indicated that they had difficulty obtaining specialized mental health care.
The pandemic severely impacted access to one-on-one face to face psychotherapy. There are currently longer than usual wait times to see a psychologist or psychotherapist. Our military families need treatment sooner than is available through current support and MindBeacon allows them to find the right mental health support immediately.
This funding will allow us to tackle the issues facing the mental wellbeing of our military families head on and make a real difference to those currently struggling with stress and anxiety, which has only been heightened with the current pandemic.