Jane & John S.

Mitigating Mental Health Challenges in Youth

Dr. Rudolf Uher

Over the past seven years, Dalhousie’s Dr. Rudolf Uher and his colleagues have been leading an innovative long-term study known as FORBOW (Families Overcoming Risks and Building Opportunities for Well-being), aimed at preventing mental illness and supporting positive mental health in youth. The overall goal of the study is to reduce the development of severe mental illness, including bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.

Patient Perspective: Jane & John S.

In 2018, Jane and John enrolled in the FORBOW study with their three children, now aged 14, 17 and 19. Within a short time, the program helped them understand their children’s anxiety better, and how they could help them cope, as parents. Thanks to their participation in FORBOW, Jane, John and their children have made great advances when it comes to confronting and overcoming anxiety, using tools such as breathing techniques and cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) that challenge fearful thinking.

“This program has given our kids the tools to manage their fears and anxieties, in a way that we didn’t realize was even possible. When I had a heart attack last year, for example, that shook our family completely. Jane and I were amazed to see how our children used the tools they learned in FORBOW to help them come to terms with what had happened, and to reassure themselves that everything was going to be okay. As a family, FORBOW has made such a difference in our day-to-day lives, and we know that it will have long-term benefits as well, for us and many others.”

- John S., FORBOW participant, Dartmouth, NS


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