Free mental health program for teens and youth comes back to Simcoe County

An early intervention mental wellness program aimed at decreasing the barriers teens and youth face when trying to access mental health supports is coming back to Simcoe County this month. Supplied by YMCA Simcoe Muskoka

Youth in need of mental health support will be able to access a free mental wellness program back in the Simcoe County region in November.

The Y Mind program is a collaboration between the YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka, Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.

The early intervention mental wellness program focuses on helping decrease the barriers teens and youth face when accessing mental health support.

YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka CEO Jill Tettmann says their goal is to help young people experiencing mild to moderate anxiety learn effective skills to improve their mental health

“The pandemic has increased rates of anxiety amongst our young people. Increasing accessibility to mental health support through Y Mind is vital to the well-being of our communities,” says Tettmann.

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“We are pleased to be able to extend access to teens ages 13 to 18 to help support even more young people that are struggling.”

The seven-week program is available for young people aged 18 to 30 and a newly added session for teens between the ages of 13 and 18.

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Organizers say no medical referral is required, and the program is free for participants.

“We’ve seen positive feedback from our participants in the first session of the Y Mind program in April 2022, and I’m looking forward to seeing the impacts these programs will have on more teens, youth and families,” says Janette McGee, general manager of youth services at the YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka.

Organizers say the program is designed to close existing service gaps and help teens and youth thrive.

Participants will also be given a free two-month UMCA Fitness Membership.

People will be split into groups of 10 to 12 and work with trained mental health practitioners.

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“Y Mind will be a safe and welcoming place for the teens and youth in our communities to connect with others who have similar experiences and learn new ways to improve their mental health,” says Amanda Fellows, program manager of community development at Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County.

The Y Mind Teen program for people aged 13 to 18 offers two seven-week sessions starting on
Monday, Nov. 7, and Tuesday, Nov. 8, both from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

The Y Mind Youth program for those aged 18 to 30 offers two seven-week sessions starting on Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and Thursday, Nov. 10, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Limited spaces for these online sessions are still available. To learn more or register, call or text 705-718-0097 or email

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