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Federal money provided for YMCA-based mental wellness programs

Feds announce more than $200,000 to provide young people with mental health programs to offset the stress and anxiety of the pandemic
teen stress stock

Recognizing that young people have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, federal funding is being provided to the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario to support mental health programs, associated with the YMCA.

The new funding was announced by Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe, Nickel Belt MP Marc G. Serré and Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota. The funding is directed to scaling up and expanding of  “Y Mind” and “Mind Medicine,” which are evidence-based, youth-informed, early intervention programs across Canada, said a joint news release from the MPs.

The programs are intended for young people aged 13-30 years of age who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression and aim to support the development of effective coping skills and improvements to participants’ overall well-being. The release said Y Mind introduces young people to evidence-based tools and connects them with peers and experienced professionals. 

The other program, Mind Medicine, is an adapted version of Y Mind, which has been developed specifically for Indigenous young people, and will be implemented in partnership with Indigenous-serving organizations and communities.

This announcement is part of a $100-million investment provided in Budget 2021 to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lapointe said the funding reflects the importance of helping young people manage stress and anxiety.

“Mental health promotion and prevention are critical components for wellbeing. Today’s funding for the expansion of the YMCA ‘YMind’ and ‘Mind Medicine’ Programs will help teens and young adults in Sudbury manage stress, anxiety, and give them the tools and support needed to improve mental health," she said. 

Serré remarked that he was pleased that the YMCA was providing such important programs, such as Y Mind and Mind Medicine. 

“Congratulations to YMCA Canada for adopting this profoundly valuable program. The people of Northeastern Ontario are in very good hands thanks to their dedicated CEO/President Helen Francis and the entire team," he said.