For Immediate Release

The YMCA receives $6.9 million in funding to expand youth mental wellness programs across Canada

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Toronto, ON – YMCA Canada is pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has committed $6.9 million in funding through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s investment in Supporting the Mental Health of Those Most Affected By COVID-19 to promote increased access to youth mental wellness supports through the YMCA’s Y Mind and Mind Medicine programs.

Y Mind is an innovative, youth informed, early intervention program that helps teens and young adults manage stress and anxiety. Helping young people cope with anxiety and improve their sense of well-being, Y Mind introduces them to evidence-based tools and connects them with peers and experienced professionals.

Mind Medicine is a sister program that offers the Y Mind curriculum in a culturally responsive manner. Delivered by Indigenous serving organizations for Indigenous participants, Mind Medicine facilitators incorporate Indigenous teachings and stories into the Y Mind curriculum to support young people in learning ways to cope with anxiety.

Y Mind was developed by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver (now YMCA BC) in response to a need for free and accessible mental wellness support. “Y Mind was developed in response to a need for free and accessible mental wellness support, and the impact this program has made on the lives of many young people has been significant,” says Heidi Worthington, President and CEO, YMCA BC (formerly YMCA of Greater Vancouver). “Since 2018 and through the financial support from the Province of BC, Y Mind has worked with over 3,200 young people across 54 communities. We are grateful for the generous support from the Public Health Agency of Canada and look forward to working alongside YMCAs across the country, Indigenous serving organizations and all our community partners to help even more young people access critical mental health support services.”

Thanks to the financial support provided through the Public Health Agency of Canada, YMCA Canada is working collaboratively with YMCA BC to expand capacity for mental health promotion across YMCAs in Canada. “The link between mental wellness and overall well-being is clear,” says Peter Dinsdale, President & CEO, YMCA Canada. “This funding will improve the lives of thousands of young people across Canada who are struggling with their mental wellness. We are grateful to the Public Health Agency of Canada for this funding that will allow us to expand access to our low-barrier and inclusive Y Mind and Mind Medicine programs.”

“It is essential that we increase the resources and remove the barriers to mental health supports for young people in Canada, especially those in underserved communities who have been disproportionately facing the negative impacts of the pandemic.” remarks The Honourable, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health. “Today’s funding to the YMCA will help young people across Canada know that it’s okay to not be okay, and that through these evidence-based, youth-informed programs, more supports will be available.”

You can read more in the Government of Canada’s press release here.

Y Mind will be offered by the following YMCA Member Associations:

  • YMCA of Southwestern Ontario
  • YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth
  • YMCAs of Quebec
  • YMCA-YMCA of Winnipeg
  • YMCA of Northern Alberta
  • YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
  • YMCA of Oakville
  • YMCA of the National Capital Region
  • YMCA of Greater Moncton
  • YMCA of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • YMCA of Three Rivers – Waterloo Region
  • YMCA of Western Newfoundland
  • YMCA of Lethbridge
  • YMCA of Medicine Hat
  • YMCA of Northeastern Ontario
  • YMCA of Regina
  • YMCA of Greater Toronto Area
  • YMCA Calgary
  • YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford
  • YMCA of Saskatoon

For more information on the Y Mind program

Visit our Y Mind Page