When Justine joined the Jumpstep program, she had no idea how dramatically it would change her life. After more than seven years of countless types of medication and therapy to support herself in coping with depression, she began feeling hopeless and unsure of where to turn to for help. Nothing seemed to work.

One day, a doctor from the Mood Disorders Association of BC (MDABC) told her about Jumpstep, a 12-week physical activity program for adults experiencing depression and anxiety. Justine thought, why not give one more thing a try. Her husband supported her by attending the information session with her and even though she had multiple physical barriers, she knew that she wanted to make it work.

Jumpstep helped Justine break through the physical and mental barriers of starting and maintaining exercise, and opened her mind up to ways she could have fun with exercise. The staff were supportive and encouraging, which Justine claims contributed to her success in this program.

Before Jumpstep, Justine would fall into serious bouts of depression that left her feeling isolated, and resulted in her spending a lot of time in bed. After participating in the program, when she feels overwhelmed or her mood is low, her go-to strategy is physical activity. She learned that for her, walking helped her to calm down and think clearly. Justine claims that staying physically active was the most helpful coping strategy she ever learned. Justine has lots 35 lbs since starting the program, which motivates her further to continue exercising.

Justine also claims that the program has “literally changed [her] life” and is grateful for the MDA psychiatrists and the YMCA for giving her the tools and helping her see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Justine and her family are looking forward to continue staying active together at the Langara Family YMCA.