The Manitoba government has announced that it will be investing $700,000 toward its continued support of a locally developed mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBTm) program that helps participants develop skills to improve their mental health, Minister of Mental Health and Community Wellness Sarah Guillemard announced on June 8th. 

"Our government is proud to continue supporting this innovative and accessible program that addresses the mental health needs of Manitobans, which have become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic," says Guillemard."The CBTm hub leads the innovation, capacity-building and collaboration of mental health resources throughout Manitoba while standardizing the types of therapies available across the province."

The government notes that their investment in CBTm over the past two years now totals $1 million, including a provincial investment of $300,000 in 2021 to establish the hub. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a well-recognized, evidence-based treatment that effectively addresses a range of mental health and substance use needs, noted the minister. The CBTm program incorporates principles of mindfulness to help participants reduce stress, anger, fatigue, sleep problems and adverse health outcomes while building skills to better cope with stressful life situations.

The minister says that this investment will allow the CBTm program to expand access and improve programming. The program aims to train up to 100 new facilitators and recruit up to 1,000 new participants during the next year. Initially developed for adults 18 years and older, the CBTm program will now work on adapting its materials for adolescents so the training can also be delivered to youth aged 14 to 17. 

Developed to improve access, reduce wait times and offer culturally sensitive programming, CBTm has already been adapted to provide targeted services to specific groups, including the 50-plus population, public safety personnel, Indigenous communities, cancer patients and women who are pregnant or have given birth in the previous 12 months.

"Since 2019, our government has invested more than $58 million in initiatives focused on improving access to and coordination of mental health and addictions services in Manitoba," explains Guillemard. "The CBTm program is one of these initiatives that improve Manitobans' access to psychological treatments, and we are proud to continue supporting this important program."