Kelowna YMCA focuses on mental health

The YMCA of Okanagan offers programs for youth ages 13 to 30

In celebration of CMHA Mental Health WeekGenna McCansh is getting loud about her mental health experience and the programs and resources she used to find a way to manage life’s highs and lows.

“I had a very poor relationship with my emotions especially anxiety,” said McCansh, 25. “I was under the false assumption that emotions were to be ignored or controlled.”

After hearing about a Mindfulness Group information session through the Y, McCansh, who was already interested in self-improvement, decided to sign up to participate in the program, according to a Y news release.

“My group connected as a whole,” McCansh said. “It was incredibly helpful to learn that I wasn’t the only one struggling with stress. I feel like an entirely different person. I honestly feel something fundamental in me changed.”

As the issue of mental health is catapulted to the forefront of people’s minds this week, if you or someone you know is struggling to cope, community organizations such as the Y, Canadian Mental Health Association and Foundry Kelowna have resources and supports in place to support your journey to an improved quality of life, said the release.

“Mental Health is a very important issue and can often lead to feelings of isolation,” said Jan Locke, manager of mindfulness programs. “The Y, along with community partners are working together to ensure we are addressing this need and providing accessible resources to individuals in our community.”

There are many components to healthy living and mental health is a large contributor.

“There shouldn’t be such a stigma on improving ourselves and our mental health,” said McCansh. “Mental Health is just as important, maybe more important, than physical health.”

The YMCA of Okanagan offers programs for youth ages 13 to 30 that provides a safe, supportive and accepting environment where youth can develop coping skills and connect with others who have had similar experiences.

Learn more about programs offered through the YMCA of Okanagan at

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