Some people call the third Monday in January Blue Monday, and have labelled it the most depressing day of the year.

It began in 2005 as an idea from a travel company, but organizers of a free psychotherapy service in the Nipissing district are using Blue Monday to inform people about their programs.

The Canadian Mental Health Association of Nipissing wants to help people deal with the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

"I think it's crucial for folks to know they can reach out if that's a barrier for them." said Margi Clarke, of CMHA Nipissing.

Two programs, Big White Wall and BounceBack, are designed to offer online assistance.

BounceBack is a skill building program using videos, coaching, and workbooks meant to help students and adults manage symptoms like depression and anxiety, and become more active and assertive.

"They can access them from their home computer, telephone coaching and online support. The other thing is, there's no cost for them either." said Clarke.

People who use Big White Wall can log in and share anonymously with other members in the community who are experiencing similar issues.

"The service is co-ordinated through OTN (Ontario Telemedicine Network) and is available 24/7. Which means people can access it immediately and at a time when other services are less likely to be available." said Sharon Howlett, project lead for Big White Wall.

A Statistics Canada survey says 1 in 5 Canadians will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime.

Cory Hobbs is a college student that says he's been living with bipolar disorder since he was 14 and says his life has changed drastically.

"A lot of my issues stemmed from my childhood. I never dealt with them appropriately. I had many substance abuse issues intertwined with my bipolar." said Hobbs.

Abbey Thompson is a university student that wants other students who may be experiencing mental health issues to not be afraid to ask for help.

"Be patient with yourself. I think that's the biggest thing. For me, I beat myself up a lot when I was trying to figure things out. Take a breath and be patient." said Thompson.

CMHA, along with the university and college, pledge they will always be there for students and adults who just need a little bit of extra support and help through tough times.