YMCA helps adults manage stress in the Okanagan

Mindful classes are helping young adults manage stress

As a part of YMCA of British Columbia’s Y Mind initiative to help young adults manage stress, worries and anxiety, the YMCA of Okanagan is expanding its mental wellness services by bringing new programs to West Kelowna and Penticton. With $3 million in funding support provided by the Government of British Columbia, Y Mind was brought to five regions across the province earlier this year, including the Kelowna area, according to a YMCA news release.

Through this expansion, more young people in the Okanagan will have the chance to learn strategies to manage anxiety and depression through evidence-based programming led by trained mental health professionals, the release said.

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“YMCA Mental Wellness programs give young adults the tools needed to cope with the stressors that are going on in life right now,” said Y mindfulness manager, Jan Locke. “So many individuals today feel the environment and world they live in creates anxiety and it can be extremely overwhelming. Y Mind helps with the isolation and debilitation that can come with anxiety.”

YMCA Mental Wellness programs include Youth Mindfulness, Teen Mindfulness and Mind Fit. They support different age groups between 13-30 years old who are experiencing mild-to-moderate anxiety and/or depression. There is no cost to participate and referrals are not required. Each young person also receives a complimentary health and fitness membership to their local YMCA in Kelowna, or to the Penticton Recreation Centre, for the duration of the program, the release said.

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One hundred per cent of participants surveyed said their quality of life improved after participating in a YMCA Mental Wellness program, the release said.

Sessions are already taking place at the Kelowna Family YMCA, Foundry Kelowna and UBC Okanagan. New sessions will soon begin at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club Westside Youth Centre and YMCA JumpStartin Penticton, and we are currently exploring more program locations. The YMCA of Okanagan and participating partners want these services to be easily accessible to young people in our local communities, the release said.

The Y is currently recruiting young people interested in its mental wellness programs in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton, with information sessions in October. To register please contact Jan at 250-317-7980 or or learn more at

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