Running programs are offered by community health organizations and Family Health Teams to help youth that have been referred by the medical community, such as family doctors, mental health counsellors, and psychiatrists. This is a growing area of interest, given the mounting evidence regarding the therapeutic value of exercise and how it can extend the range of treatment offerings to adolescents.
As the first point of contact in the healthcare system, primary health care professionals can help identify the early onset of anxiety and depression in youth and refer them to the Team Unbreakable program. The running group offers exercise as treatment for anxiety and depression. If youth are more active this can make a difference at an early age in their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Concerns about stigma prevent many youth and young adults from seeking mental health support. They are, however, more willing and likely to talk to their family physician and have their mental health concerns identified when receiving their routine primary health care.
The run therapy program is modeled closely to the school program. In addition, the participants engage in weekly therapy (i.e. relationship-building, goal setting, self regulation and mindfulness).