Breathing Room | About BreathingRoom
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About BreathingRoom


What is BreathingRoom?

BreathingRoom is an online program for youth and young adults aged 13-24, who want to learn new ways to manage symptoms stress, anxiety and depression.


The program consists of 8 modules which include:

Visualizations to help you relax and take a break from the pressures of life,
Fresh insights from a medical expert that have helped others move forward in their lives,
An engaging program host who guides you through the program and shares personal experiences,
Simple off-line activities to try out the ideas presented,
Music that expresses emotions we can all relate to,
Movie and book suggestions,
True stories written by young people who have dealt with a tough situation, and
Jokes to lighten your mood.


BreathingRoom is not intended to replace assessment, diagnosis or treatment from health care professionals. If you are in need of urgent help, click here.

Who is BreathingRoom for?

Everyone deserves some room to breathe!


Whether you feel stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, stuck, or simply want to help someone you care about, BreathingRoom might be just what you need.


BreathingRoom is for youth and young adults who want to move forward in their lives but don’t know how. If you have an open mind and the courage to try something new, this program might be just what you need to create the life you’ve always wanted.


Program participants describe the impact of BreathingRoom as “transformational”; it changed how they see themselves and the world, what they do, and how they feel.


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How much time does it take?

BreathingRoom is available online 24/7, so you can easily fit it into your day. Each module can take between 2-3 hours, so spread it out across a week and only spend 20 – 30 minutes per day.


There is no set-time frame for when you should complete the program, it was originally designed to be taken over 8 weeks, 1 module per week; however, you can take 1 week or 15 weeks, you do what you feel works best for you and your journey through the program.


Keep in mind that the concepts in each module builds on each other so some people might prefer to do them in order. Others might find they are drawn to a particular topic and want to go through them randomly. It’s up to you.

What does it cost?

BreathingRoom is available on a subsidized basis to qualifying organizations and institutions thanks to grants and donations from: The Calgary Foundation, RBC Foundation, Alberta Lottery Fund, The Trico Foundation, and private donors.


If you would like to offer BreathingRoom to your organization or institution, please send us an e-mail from our contact page, we would love to hear from you!


BreathingRoom is now available for individual purchase as an app in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Is BreathingRoom evidence-based?

The foundational principles of BreathingRoom are supported by an extensive body of literature and the core principles and activities have been found to be promote well-being in both adult and youth populations (Moritz et al., 2011, 2007, 2006; Rickhi et al., 2001).


The impact of BreathingRoom, as reported in qualitative interviews with 13-24 year old clinically depressed youth, was that participants gained tools and coping strategies that resulted in a significant and lasting improvement in four key areas:


  1. Improved well-being, characterized by higher energy levels, increased motivation, hopefulness, reduced negative feelings, reduced feelings of depression
  2. Change in perspective, better able to address or cope with life challenges
  3. Feeling more connected to others, their surroundings and themselves
  4. Enhanced self-control over emotions


Study authors have concluded that BreathingRoom provides the foundations to effectively address life challenges and it is well suited for youth and young adults between the ages of 13-24 with various life situations. BreathingRoom presents an effective, accessible, and acceptable management option for struggling young people; and it is a possible adjunct intervention for adolescent depression. Publications are currently underway.

How is BreathingRoom different from existing programs?

Starting with the inspiration for the title, the simple act of taking a deep breath and a moment to reflect starts a ripple effect of positive change in your physiology, your muscles start to relax and your mind starts to refresh itself.


The program is innovative and revolutionary because it:

  • Builds resilience, which is the ability to handle what life brings your way and prosper. Resilience supports our ability to connect and relate with ourselves and others, brings meaning and purpose in our lives, and empowers us with confidence and skills to help ourselves.
  • Can be accessed 24/7 in the privacy of your own home or on your mobile device. The mobile app will be available this Fall (2014) to both Android and iPhone.
  • Incorporates effective practices based on 80+ years of clinical expertise and integrative, evidence-based approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, positive psychology, neurophysiology and psychiatry.
  • Has been rigorously tested and results show it promotes well-being.
  • Directly engages and is highly relatable for youth as it was developed with input from over 100 young people.
  • Can be used independently or as an adjunct to other treatments.
  • Helps you understand, strengthen and use the multiple intelligence’s of the body.
Who created BreathingRoom?

BreathingRoom was developed by the Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM) in collaboration with Mount Royal University, University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, and input from over 100 youth volunteers.


Established in 2002, CINIM is community-based registered charity that develops and delivers programs through donations and corporate sponsorships. CINIM’s purpose is to address the severe shortage of accessible, affordable and effective mental health resources by developing innovative programs that empower people with practical strategies to manage life’s challenges.


CINIM is led by two psychiatrists who are leaders in their field – Dr. Badri Rickhi and Dr. John Toews. Their professionalism and expertise ensures the programs are evidence-based and well-tailored to the needs of mental health patients,


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