New mental health help website launches in P.E.I.

Health PEI has launched access to a new website where Islanders can seek support to deal with anxiety and depression.

'Providing supports online is an innovative way to deliver these services'

Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie explains the new ICAN website and program developed by the Strongest Families Institute, based in Nova Scotia. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

Health PEI has launched access to a new website where Islanders can seek support to deal with anxiety and depression. 

The site is for adults 18 and over and began this past January. It is called ICAN, which stands for "conquer anxiety and nervousness," a written release stated Thursday afternoon.

"Islanders will benefit because they have easier access to care online and they will not need to travel to appointments and take time off work or school," said Dr. Amanda Hudson, who is heading up the program for Mental Health and Addictions in P.E.I. 

"E-mental health and telehealth initiatives also ensure that people get the help they need when they need it." 

The secure website includes videos, relaxation audio, a daily anxiety tracker and weekly telephone support from a coach. Health PEI has also printed a manual of material for any Islanders without access to internet or a computer. 

"Providing supports online is an innovative way to deliver these services," said P.E.I. Health and Wellness Minister James Aylward.

The website has already served more than 100 people, the release stated. 

The ICAN website is one of the supports provided to Islanders through its Strongest Families program, which began in 2015 and offers families help for mental health and other issues. That program as well as ICAN is being delivered through the Strongest Families Institute, a non-profit corporation from Nova Scotia developed at the IWK by psychologist Patrick J. McGrath and scientist Patricia Lingley-Pottie, a professor of psychiatry at Dalhousie University, who guide the professional coaches. 

The ICAN site is free and people can find it at

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  • A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Patricia Lingley-Pottie as a psychiatrist. She is a professor in the psychiatry department at Dalhousie University and a researcher at the IWK Health Centre, with an interdisciplinary PhD.
    Sep 23, 2019 5:51 PM AT


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