Living Life to the Full was created by Dr. Chris Williams, a psychiatrist and expert in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The course is based on cognitive behavioural principles, and is suitable for people who want to maximize their ability to deal with life’s challenges. During the development phase of the course, each class was trialed by a wide range of health care practitioners and the general public. Research has shown that self-help materials, such as Living Life to the Full, can be a valuable way of enhancing skills and tackling problems such as low mood and anxiety and depression.
The Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (CMHA BC) has the exclusive licence Living Life to the Full in Canada to train facilitators and to sell the course materials.
Research shows Living Life to the Full course helps boost mood and lower anxiety
Scottish Government Health Directorates Chief Scientist Office
A randomized controlled trial of a community based group guided self-help intervention for low mood and stress
Read about it here
European Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies (EABCT) Conference Poster
Community use of group guided self-help classes for low mood and depression: A pilot study
Read about it here
Living Life to the Full is a 12-hour, eight-week course offered in a group format. The course sessions are 1.5 hours each and are held once a week. Trained facilitators use small group activities to identify and work on improving feelings, moods, and behaviours.
The course includes activities designed to engage participants at their comfort level, and inspire them to shift how they respond to stresses in their lives. Sessions include Living Life to the Full booklets and worksheets, as well as moderated discussions in which participants may share information, ideas, and provide mutual support.
Participants are likely to get the most out of Living Life to the Full by putting the course content into practice and seeing if it is credible for them.
CMHA BC also offers a related program , called Bounce Back, which participants can complete individually in their own home. Bounce Back is available at no-charge and can be accessed through your doctor.
In Canada, Living Life to the Full operates as a community-based partnership between CMHA BC and local organizations. Plans are underway to offer the course at CMHA branches throughout BC and across the country. It is anticipated that local organizations such as community associations, service clubs, and religious groups, could be active partners in hosting Living Life to the Full courses. To find out more, please contact your local CMHA branch.
The course is suitable for adults aged 19 years and over. Any further requirements are determined by the CMHA branch offering the course or other local host organizations.
Who should take the course
People from all walks of life can benefit from Living Life to the Full. Parents, employers, people experiencing stress and change in their lives, individuals affected by mental health problems, health service providers, human resources professionals, teachers, community groups, and volunteers are just some of the groups who have benefitted from Living Life to the Full. Participants will have very different reasons for taking the course. Whatever the reason, the skills covered in Living Life to the Full can provide you with useful tools to enhance how you tackle life’s challenges.
Living Life to the Full is a skills-enhancing course which is based on cognitive behavioural therapy principles. It is not a therapy group and is not a replacement for a clinical mental health assessment and treatment.
Living Life to the Full is suitable for individuals experiencing low mood and mild to moderate symptoms of depression. It is not recommended for people who have been diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Visit our Resources page to find other forms of support if Living Life to the Full is not suitable for you.
Some Living Life to the Full courses are subsidized, while others are not. See find a course for cost information, facilitator contact details, and to learn more about Living Life to the Full availability in your area.