Q&A with Executive Director, Judith LawOct 15 • 2018
AnxietyBC is now Anxiety Canada!
Read our Q&A with Executive Director, Judith Law, on all the exciting changes ahead.
Q: Why the name change to Anxiety Canada?
A: In becoming Anxiety Canada, we are directing our efforts in BC, and beyond, to provide all Canadians with access to resources, and to advocate about anxiety and mental health. We are also working more closely with provincial anxiety disorders associations and with all levels of government to generate more dialogue and action around managing anxiety.
Q: Will you be opening offices in other parts of Canada?
A: Our daily operations right now consist of a small and devoted team of four people based in Vancouver. We regularly engage with Canadians beyond BC online, by phone, and through events and conferences. As Anxiety Canada, we are excited to be building new relationships with organizations that share our vision and mission. In expanding our partnerships network, we want to increase our impact, and advocate for Canadians with a stronger voice. Our donors are critical to our success, given the size of our team and the overwhelming number of requests we receive from Canadians who need support.
Q: What else is new besides the name change?
A: We have a new brand that evokes the bold and innovative approach we are taking in serving Canadians struggling with anxiety. We’re also in the middle of a major web redesign to make it easier to share the tools and resources people need. We’re also extremely excited about our completely revised MindShift anxiety app, scheduled to launch in early 2019.
Q: Who provides your funding now?
A: Our work is funded through generous donations, grants, and service contracts. We couldn’t do the work we do without them. We are especially grateful to recurring donors who allow us to plan and budget to create long-term and sustainable programs and tools that help us reach more people.
Q: Do you plan to offer services in French and other languages?
A: Language is such an important part of culture and we want to proceed mindfully with translations. A French & English website is definitely a first step. Given the cost of translation, we are hoping to receive funding/donor support to get this done.
Q: What other programs do you offer?
A: We have been working for 3 years now with Alternate Education students and teachers in the District of Chilliwack. Alternate Education students have a lot of social anxiety and we have worked in partnership with Education Without Borders, another non-profit, to offer direct in school training to students, their parents, and teachers, equipping them with knowledge and skills about anxiety, so they can stay in school and be ready to learn. This year, we are in discussions with the District about scaling up our training workshops to include their Child Youth Mental Health teams that serve regular and mainstream schools.
We’ll share more news about our work with anxiety prevention strategies for use with students in grades K-7 soon.
Q: How about your research work at Anxiety Canada?
A: We have just completed a pilot project and proof of concept research study with Whistler Secondary School. This pilot consisted of having grade 10 students learn cognitive behavior therapy through their Planning 10 class while using our online session to session guide, My Anxiety Plan (MAP). During Planning 10 classes, students received telephone coaching support from anxiety experts. Next year, we will incorporate the findings from the study and other feedback, to redevelop MAP so that we can improve and expand this to benefit more students. We will investigate collaborations across Canada.