'Beating the Blues' Online Program Helps Those Battling Depression

Right now it's a pilot program from the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Like many people, Cynthia Butts struggles with depression and anxiety. It stems from childhood experiences.

She goes to traditional therapy, but recently also went through the city's 'Beating the Blues' online program.

"It's important to remember our thoughts are not facts," Cynthia said.

Jake Bowling from the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania shows us how it works.

There are eight 50-minute sessions. They're user-friendly and can be done right at home. 

Bowling explains, "I think it's a great way of reaching more people who don't really want to go in to seek treatment or maybe they don't need a traditional mental health treatment."

And he says the issues the program helps treat are universal: Low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. You don't need an official diagnosis.

'Beating the Blues' uses different characters to show common themes and thinking errors that can lead to depression and anxiety.

Cynthia says, "Sometimes we think in black and white. Sometimes we jump to conclusions about things or magnify things more than they should be."

Cynthia tells me the program helped her find new ways to cope with daily struggles. 

Bowling says life will always have setbacks. The goal is to give more people the tools to bounce back quickly from those setbacks.

"Our goal is so people can live the fullest most successful lives in the community that they can," he said.

This program has been proven to work in other communities. It is open to anyone in the city currently on Medicaid.

If you don't have a computer, they also have group classes available in a space with computers.

For more information can call 267-507-2990.