For the National Mental Health Day in Canada on January 24, the Y would like to highlight its commitment and the concrete actions it has taken to support Quebecers’ mental health, including through its Y Mind program.
Montréal, January 24, 2024. - Since its launch, the Y Mind program has already changed the lives of many people across the province of Quebec. Unveiled last June, the program lists 15 cohorts (comprising sessions in English and French, and in the 13–18 and 18–30 age groups) and has reached nearly 120 participants so far.
“I learned that accepting them [negative emotions], living through them, then letting them go was healthier for the body and mind. I wanted to thank you for making me see that. I’ve changed how I think about the challenges in my life and talked about them in a very positive way.’’
- Lisa, 28 - program participant.
These encouraging figures show how such a program and its benefits are needed. This need is all the more important given the many concerns and sources of anxiety adolescents and young adults experience.
According to a Léger Institute study conducted last summer , 63% of 6–27 year-olds report being stressed by the consequences of climate change (a 7% increase from the previous November 2022 survey). There is also the anxiety of the unfavourable economic environment and personal finances, the housing crisis, etc.
The study also found that 78% of youths surveyed reported having experienced periods of anxiety, with 48% of them claiming to have more severe symptoms. Y Mind is a resource that helps participants manage anxiety and improve their daily lives.
An innovative program
Launched in Quebec in late June 2023, Y Mind is a free mental wellness program for 13–18 and 18–30 year-olds experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or stress. For seven weeks, the cohort is led by mental health specialists who teach strategies on mindfulness, and acceptance and engagement therapy. In the first session, participants are given a workbook and a book that helps them follow the program, work on group exercises and learn the right techniques to develop better emotion management skills. Through this program, they also have the opportunity to become friends with peers who share the same thoughts and emotions, creating a strong support network.
“Being in a group of other like-minded youths with a similar experience can be very therapeutic. This enables participants to share and break the sense of isolation that they may sometimes feel.’’
- Roberto Mormina - Y Mind Coordinator.
The program is also offered in English and French, and participants can attend in person or virtually. Registration is very simple and is done through the online form. Once submitted, the application will be evaluated and successful applicants will be contacted by a program facilitator who will guide them through the process.
About Y Mind in Canada
It was first developed by YMCA BC and has been offered in British Columbia since 2018 thanks to the financial support from the Government of British Columbia. Y Mind was born to meet the growing need for free, accessible mental health support. It quickly became a support pillar for local youths, working with more than 3,200 of them in 54 communities. Building on its success, the Y Mind program has been expanded across Canada, including in Quebec, with the support of YMCA Canada and YMCA BC. Y Mind has now expanded to 21 YMCAs across the country with the Public Health Agency of Canada currently funding it.
To learn more, visit this page.
About the YMCAs of Québec
Since 1851, the YMCAs of Québec, a charitable organization, has had the mission to encourage and inspire all people to fulfill their potential, thrive, and contribute to the community. The YMCA’s diverse expertise reaches far beyond the walls of its centres. In addition to the YMCAs of Québec’s online programming, its 1,200 employees and 550 volunteers support the organization’s activities in over 60 service points throughout Québec, Canada, and abroad.
The organization’s work is carried out daily thanks to the unwavering support of its staff, members, participants, numerous partners, volunteers, donors, and its foundation.
To learn more, please visit ymcaquebec.org
Contact for Media Enquiries :
Integrated Communications Director
The YMCAs of Québec