What is the LEAP Project?

The LEAP Project is an 8-week process that presents new ways of looking at yourself and your depression. It’s about gentle shifts in perspective and healthy new skills to help you create the life you really want.

LEAP consists of eight modules (one per week) packed with new ideas and great information presented to you through videos, music, true stories, movie and book ideas, and a lot more. You’ll hear a medical expert share his personal struggle with depression and the steps that helped him, as well as many of his patients, to move beyond depression.

The LEAP Project was created with input from young people who have experienced depression and found tools and skills to help free themselves. Learn more about the LEAP Project here.

How long is the LEAP Project?

The LEAP Project is just 8 weeks long: short enough that you can commit and really go for it, long enough to make a difference in your day-to-day life.

Right now we are testing the LEAP Project in a pilot study. If you qualify for the study, you will do the LEAP Project for 8 weeks and have assessments over 6 months so we can see how it’s affecting your life.

How can I join the LEAP Project?

Because the LEAP Project is brand new, it needs to be tested first in a pilot study. At this stage, the way to be part of the LEAP Project is to join the study.
We are looking for young people who:
  • Are 13 - 24 years of age and have parental consent (if under 18)
  • Are able to attend 4 study visits in Calgary (over 6 months)
  • Think they might be suffering from depression (Find out more below.)

How do I know if I have depression?

According to the Alberta Mental Health Board, if you have experienced several of the following symptoms for two weeks or longer you may be suffering from depression:
  • Intense sadness that does not go away
  • Loss of interest in things that used to be enjoyable
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling helpless
  • Irritable and angry
  • Less confidence or low self-esteem
  • More trouble than usual making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Crying easily and often
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Not keeping up personal appearance
  • Neglecting responsibilities like school assignments, chores and work
  • Low energy
  • Walking and talking very slowly
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Eating too much or too little
If you think you are depressed contact us and we can complete an assessment to see if you have depression and if you meet the requirements for this study.

What do I need to do if I join the study?

The LEAP Project requires a time commitment of 2 hours a week online and 10 minutes every day trying out the simple weekly tools or practices. In addition, you will be required to: Attend 4 assessment visits (appointments are every 8 weeks for 24 weeks) where you will complete questionnaires and a registered nurse will ask you questions about your depression. Evening appointments are available. (All information collected will be kept strictly confidential.)
  • Be randomized into either the Intervention Group where you participate in the program right away or to the Delayed Treatment Group where you start the program after 8 weeks.
  • Continue current schedule of depression treatments (if any) for the first 8 weeks.
  • Share with us how often you are using the program.

Who created the LEAP Project?

The LEAP Project was created by researchers at The Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM), in collaboration with health care professionals and mental health specialists from Alberta Health Services, the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University who recognized that there are limited treatment options to support young adults with depression. The program was developed with input from young people, parents, teachers, and counselors.

CINIM is a registered charitable organization (Registration #88875 8315 RR 0001) that does research to test natural and integrative therapies. You can find more information about CINIM at www.cinim.org.

Do I need a referral?

You do NOT need a referral. However, since we are a research institute, we do not offer support for depression other than this program. To ensure that you have support in the case that you need it, you must have permission from either a family doctor or a mental health professional like a psychiatrist or psychologist. If you do not have a family doctor or are not under the care of a mental health therapist, let us know and we can make other arrangements.

What are the costs?

The LEAP Program is FREE for eligible participants. You will be reimbursed for pre-approved study related travel expenses within Calgary.