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MARS–A (Mindful Awareness & Resilience Skills for Adolescents)

About this program

MARS-A is an eight-week course for adolescents age 15-19 experiencing psychological distress. There are eight 90-minute afternoon virtual or in-person sessions and one optional three-hour in-person weekend session. This skills-based group is based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for coping with stress and illness (MBSR, Jon Kabat-Zinn); and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for coping with depressive symptoms (MBCT, Williams, Teasdale, Segal, and Kabat-Zinn). 

Program details

Mindfulness can help teens to manage pain and stress, and cope with challenging sensations and emotions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.  Participants are asked to come with an open mind, attend all sessions, and practice daily. Participants are required to attend all sessions free from intoxication on substances.

Participation criteria

Age 15-19 years with Psychological Distress for management and coping with stable, non-acute depression and/or anxiety (current or prior).  Every participant will require their own therapist/physician (not necessarily active therapy) outside of the group. MARS-A is intended as a supplement to (not a replacement for) standard care. A willingness to participate in group mindfulness practice and reasonable motivation is requested.


Cost:  Free

What's next

If this seems like a fit for your adolescent, please ask your healthcare professional for a referral to learn more. 

Information flyers for patients and families, and referring health care providers, is available at the BCCH Adolescent Health Clinic website and  Scroll down to “Mindful Awareness…”.

Referrals should be sent to the Adolescent Health Clinic, using the referral form on the clinic website (top right of the web page). 

Questions? Contact the Youth Health Program Secretary at 604-875-3472 or

Be notified about upcoming events

This program has no upcoming events. Stay informed about upcoming events by registering here.

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