Saskatoon business gives courage to those with anxiety, depression
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:49PM CST
One box at a time, one Saskatoon woman is hoping to help those struggling with their mental health.
Earlier this month, 24-year-old Shawn Clouthier launched Courage Box, a monthly, self-help subscription-based business tailored to those struggling with anxiety and depression. Each month, subscribers will be sent new tools to help practice mental wellness strategies.
“The goal is to help people build up their toolbox of coping strategies by practicing a variety of different things and figuring out what works for them,” said Clouthier.
The University of Saskatchewan student said she was diagnosed with anxiety at a young age, dealt with “pretty awful” depression through high school and now lives with a dissociative disorder. It was her own struggles with mental health that prompted her to create the business.
“When I was struggling, I was looking for something that would be like Courage Box — something that would come right to my home, something that would help me practice strategies on my own time — and I couldn’t really find anything, so I decided to just make it myself.”
Jenna Neufeld, a mental health worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association, said Courage Box can be a tool to give control back to the individual.
“It instills some self-confidence that these are tools that I can actually work on, you know this is something I can do in my home, it’s not something that I have to go out and access.”
Neufeld said she’s seen clients wait anywhere from six to eight months to see a psychiatrist, and, in some cases, from four to six weeks just for an initial appointment. And while Courage Box is not a substitute for professional help, Clouthier said it can be a useful resource in the meantime.
“When it’s used in combination with other resources, especially counselling and group therapy — or whatever else might be suitable for you — I think that it just helps you to continue practicing that on a daily basis.”
Courage Box has 60 subscribers from across Canada and one in the United States.
Clouthier said her goal is for the business to continue growing, becoming more accessible, especially on post-secondary campuses.