For Parents

What is the LEAP Project

Building on our previous work with depressed adults, our team has created an online depression program for young people called the LEAP Project. This program is now being tested in Calgary. The LEAP Project aims to treat depression by guiding participants through an exploration of life values including Self Acceptance, Appreciating Life's Beauty, Experiencing Mystery in Life, Gratitude, Compassion, Acceptance and Forgiveness. Video clips and true stories written by young people are used to reinforce the materials and to validate the user’s feelings. Participants will learn relaxation techniques and will apply their newly learned insights with weekly off-line practices.

Why is the LEAP Project being conducted?

Depression in adolescents and young adults is a prevalent illness in Canada and presents a high burden for those affected and their families. In Canada, depressive disorders are on the rise and their onset is occurring earlier in life. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that spiritual wellness may play a role in depression recovery. Considering the limitations of available treatments for depression and the significant burden of the disease there is a need for new treatment options that are safe, effective, affordable and acceptable to young people.

Can my son/daughter participate in the LEAP Project?

The LEAP Project is brand new and is now being tested. The only way to try the LEAP Project is to join this study. 60 young people who meet the study’s requirements will be able to participate. Your son/daughter may be able to join if he/she:
  • Is 13 - 24 years of age and has parental consent (if under 18 year)
  • Is able to attend 4 study visits in Calgary (over 6 months)
  • Has symptoms of mild to moderate depression (our study physician will perform an assessment to make this diagnosis)
Being a parent can be challenging, especially when your child seems to be struggling. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your son/daughter participating in the LEAP Project.

What would my son/daughter have to do?

Young people who join the LEAP Project are required to:
  • For 8 weeks, spend 2 hours a week online and 10 minutes every day trying out the off-line tools or practices.
  • Attend four study visits at CINIM (one visit every 8 weeks for 24 weeks) where they complete questionnaires and meet with a study physician or nurse. Evening appointments are available. All information collected is kept strictly confidential.
  • Be randomized. This process is used to determine whether the young person starts the program right away (Intervention Group) or after 8 weeks (Delayed Intervention Group).
  • Continue current schedule of depression treatments (if any) for the first 8 weeks.
  • Share with us how often they are using the program.

Has this project been approved?

This project has been approved by the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board at the University of Calgary and the Child Health Research Office at the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Are there any risks?

There are no anticipated risks. Your son/daughter may discontinue his/her participation in the LEAP Project at any time or access resources in an emergency situation.

Are there any costs?

Participation in the LEAP Project is offered to your son/daughter free of charge. You will be reimbursed for pre-approved study related travel expenses within Calgary.

What do parents have to do?

If your son/daughter is under 18 years of age you, as the parent or guardian, will have to provide written consent. You may also choose to provide transportation for your son/daughter to attend the appointments at CINIM.

How can I get more information?

The study coordinator will provide you with more specific details of the program and answer all of your questions. For more information, feel free to contact us at or at (403) 220-0022 ext. 222.