Get help managing stress, anxiety and uncomfortable emotions
Over one million children and youth in Canada are impacted by mental health problems, yet less than 20 percent receive appropriate treatment. Y Mind is a free early intervention program designed for youth and young adults experiencing stress and anxiety and is available at YMCA of Northern Alberta to better support Alberta's youth.
To generate awareness of the expansion of Y Mind, YMCA Canada has partnered with Walk off the Earth to re-record the iconic Y.M.C.A. anthem — now reimagined for today’s need for community and open dialogue on mental health.
Y Mind is a free seven-week mental wellness program that supports teens 13–18 years and youth 18–30 years who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety. At Y Mind, they will learn and practice evidence-based strategies to cope with stress and anxiety.
This program is led by trained facilitators in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Wood Buffalo regions and gives a small group of youth the chance to connect with others who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.
Y Mind is made possible through our funding partners.
Please note that participants do not have to be diagnosed with anxiety to participate and there will be an individual follow-up planned after the session. We are fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all participants in our care and continue to follow public health guidelines.
Sign Up For Y Mind
For more information or to join the program, please complete the form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Y Mind programs are for Teens ages 13–18 and Youth/Young Adults ages 18–30 who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and stress. (note – a formal diagnoses of anxiety is not required)
Everybody experiences stress, anxiety and uncomfortable emotions – it’s totally normal! How we cope with these things can make the difference between suffering and withdrawing from people, activities and opportunities or moving forward in a way that allows us to live our best, most fulfilling life.
If stress and anxiety are preventing you from doing the things you want or need to do in life, then this program is for you!
Participants will learn and practice a variety of evidence-based strategies to help them cope more effectively with stress and anxiety. You will leave with a better understanding of what anxiety is and why our body and mind respond the way they do.
You will be equipped with tools to help you connect with the present moment, acknowledge, and make room for difficult feelings, defuse unhelpful thoughts and take committed action towards your goals in alignment with your values and what’s most important to you. All while taking a compassionate approach with yourself.
This course is facilitated by trained and caring staff in a safe and supportive group environment. Participants will benefit from the opportunity to connect with others of a similar age who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.
Anyone interested in attending a Y Mind program must attend an Information & Intake session first to be considered for the 7-week program. Press the link above labelled, "Contact Y Mind". You will be directed to fill out a simple Information Request Form. After that form is submitted you will be contacted by a Y Mind facilitator who will help you begin the intake process.
We offer in-person Y Mind sessions and virtual Y Mind sessions, but they are offered separately. Participants must register for in-person OR virtual and are unable to switch back and forth between them.
In-Person sessions are only offered in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Wood Buffalo. Virtual sessions are available across Alberta.
Y Mind may not be suitable for everybody. We want to ensure you are matched with a program that best fits your needs.
Not necessarily. During the Information & Intake Session, you will have an opportunity to meet with facilitators one-to-one to discuss your reasons for joining the program and what you hope to get out of it. Depending on each person’s circumstances, you may be offered a spot in the program, asked to return for a future program or referred to a different program or service better suited to your needs. Each Y Mind group is formed with the best interests of all participants in mind. Participants will be informed of their place in the program at the end of the intake cycle.
Y Mind may be a good fit for you if:
- You fall within the appropriate age category (13-18) or (18-30)
- You can attend all seven weekly sessions
- You experience mild-to-moderate anxiety and stress (individuals experiencing severe anxiety and stress that significantly impacts their ability to perform daily activities likely require more support than what Y Mind is intended to provide)
- Anxiety is your primary concern right now (as opposed to other mental, physical, social or economic health concerns)
- You are willing to learn and participate in a group environment with others who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings
- You are open to the experiences and opinions of others, even if they are different from your own
- You understand and can apply the use of metaphors to learn about and discuss topics related to anxiety and coping skills
- You feel comfortable learning and communicating in English
Y Mind facilitators come with a variety of educational backgrounds and experience, including Counselling Psychology, Youth Work, Social Work, Conflict Resolution, Gender Studies, Sexual Health, Education and more. All facilitators are trained in the Y Mind Curriculum and approach, including Mindfulness, foundational concepts of ACT and Self Compassion.
In order to get the most out of this program, it’s important that all participants feel ready and motivated to attend, learn and participate. Please talk to your teen about the program prior to signing them up. Your teen is welcome to attend an Information & Intake Session to see if it’s the right fit for them at this time or not. If a teen expresses that they are not interested, it’s better for them to wait until they are ready.
Parents are welcome to attend the Information portion of the Information & Intake Session, however, all participants must attend the one-to-one intake interview on their own. To maintain safety and confidentiality of participants, we do not allow unregistered persons into the seven-week program sessions.
Generally, we recommend that siblings attend separately so that family dynamics do not impact their willingness to participate openly in the program. With siblings and friends alike, it is important to consider whether their presence together will be supportive or prohibitive of an immersive experience.
No, Y Mind is not group therapy. It is a psychoeducational program that uses education and experiential learning to teach healthy coping skills for stress and anxiety. Mindfulness activities and foundational concepts from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy are incorporated throughout the program.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and we will get back to you.