YMCA offers free mental wellness program to area youth


Access to the Y Mind program is extended to young people aged 13 to 18; second program available for 18 to 30 year olds

A mental wellness early intervention program aimed at reducing the barriers teens and youth face when trying to access mental health supports returns to Simcoe County this month.

In partnership with Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County and Waypoint Center for Mental Health Care, the YMCA is offering this seven-week program for youth ages 18-30, as well as new program sessions for teens ages 13-18. These programs provide mental health services and mental wellness programs in a non-stigmatizing community setting. No medical referral is required.

The goal of the Y Mind program is to help young people with mild to moderate anxiety learn effective skills to improve their mental health, says CEO Jill Tettmann of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.

“The pandemic has increased anxiety levels among our young people. Increasing accessibility to mental health support, through Y Mind, is essential to the well-being of our communities,” says Tettmann. “We are pleased to be able to expand access to teens aged 13-18 to help support even more troubled young people.”

“We’re breaking down barriers to mental health support by offering this program for free, without diagnosis or referral, so teens and youth can get the help they need. We saw positive feedback from our participants during the first session of the Y Mind program in April 2022, and I look forward to seeing the impacts these programs will have on more teens, youth, and families. says Janette McGee, Executive Director of Youth Services at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.

The programs are designed to fill existing service gaps and help adolescents and youth thrive, including accessing the mental health benefits of exercise through a free two-month fitness program membership YMCA physical.

For seven weeks, two mental health practitioners will co-facilitate closed groups of 10 to 12 people. Group sessions will teach participants how to improve their mental health using evidence-based tools and strategies grounded in mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Sessions will also include fun activities to demonstrate ACT and mindfulness strategies as well as take-home resources to help participants cope with stress and anxiety between weekly group sessions.

“Y Mind will be a safe and welcoming place for teens and young people in our communities to connect with others who are going through similar experiences and learn new ways to improve their mental health. I am grateful for this unique opportunity to provide greater support to young people and look forward to helping improve their holistic well-being. said Amanda Fellows, Program Manager, Community Development at Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County.

The Y Mind Teen program (ages 13-18) offers two seven-week sessions beginning Monday, November 7, 2022 from 3:30-5 p.m. or Tuesday, November 8, 2022 from 3:30-5 p.m.

The Y Mind Youth Program (18-30) offers two seven-week sessions beginning Wednesday, November 9, 2022 from 1:30-4 p.m. or Thursday, November 10, 2022 from 2-4:30 p.m.

Limited places for these online sessions are still available. For more information or to register, call or text 705-718-0097 or email [email protected]

Participants will receive a $25 gift card, a copy of The Happiness Trap book, a free two-month YMCA membership, and access to technology to complete the program, if needed.

The Youth Services Department of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka has been providing counseling and support programs to youth ages 12-30 since 2007. Y Mind Teen and Y Mind Youth will complement the YMCA’s current line of social services and increase access to mental health services. health support. If you are interested in becoming a partner organization to facilitate the Y Mind program, please contact Sarah Stea, Y Mind Hub Manager, at 705-791-0359 or by email at [email protected]



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