Windsor

Canadian Mental Health Association hoping people 'bounce back' for Blue Monday

The third Monday in January has been known as ‘Blue Monday’ since 2005, when a travel agency marketed the day as the most depressing day — to sell tickets to warmer destinations.

An open house today runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at their Windsor Avenue location.

“There are many in our community that struggle with anxiety and depression,” said Claudia den Boer, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association for Windsor and Essex County. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

The ground is covered in white snow and a yellow sun is shining — but the day is blue.

The third Monday in January has been known as Blue Monday since 2005, when a travel agency marketed the day as the most depressing as a way of selling tickets to warmer destinations.

The Canadian Mental Health Association for Windsor and Essex County has indivduals walk through its doors all year long. But according to the branch's CEO, there are more around this time.

"This particular time of year is challenging," said Claudia den Boer. "There are many in our community that struggle with anxiety and depression."

She added it's easy to feel the winter blues when it's cold and dreary outside. 

"We're not sure if science would define it as such, but we do know it's a challenging time," said den Boer.

The CMHA is having an open house Monday to help combat seasonal depression and anxiety. 

"We decided we'd be a bit more proactive," said den Boer. "And highlight some services that are free and quick to access."

The CMHA offers free online and telephone coaching services. Users can even self-refer, and then use workbooks to create their own course. 

"You can do this right from the comfort of your bedroom or living room," said Den Boer. "Fill out the workbook and then connect with a coach."

Hear more from Claudia den Boer on the CBC's Windsor Morning:

What better day for the Canadian Mental Health Association to hold an open house than on Blue Monday? We talk with the CEO of CHMA Windsor Essex , Claudia den Boer 7:58

CMHA also partners with Family Services Windsor for walk-in counselling services.

"They're a great partner," said den Boer, adding the CMHA also offers a financial literacy program, providing tools and resources for credit counselling.

"We know that money challenges can be very stressful and individuals can feel like they don't have many options.

One thing she hopes to do, den Boer said, is to reduce any stigma surrounding seasonal depression, or depression in general.

The CMHA is hoping its idea of "Bounce Back Monday," rather than Blue Monday will help people get through what can be a trying season. Tap on the player below for more:

The open house runs Monday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at their Windsor Avenue location.

With files from Windsor Morning

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