New Youth Program Coming to Hope

April 23, 2018

Regular physical activity can be as effective as medication or cognitive therapy for improving mental wellbeing and effectively treating depression and anxiety. In an effort to improve mental wellbeing in teens, the YMCA developed Mind Fit, a ten week group-based physical activity and mental health program for teens ages 13 to 19.

The YMCA, in partnership with Recreation, Culture and Airpark Services and the Hope and Area Transition Society, will offer Mind Fit to young people experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression and/or anxiety in the Fraser Valley. This grant-funded program is designed to support teens in learning how to incorporate physical activity into their mental wellness plan. There is no cost to participate.

During the ten week program, a group of 10 to 12 teens meet once a week for two hours at the recreation centre to discuss healthy coping strategies and try new physical activities together.

In the first hour, Bonnie Millward, the youth coordinator from the Hope and Area Transition Society, will lead the group in sharing and learning from one another. Together they will set achievable exercise goals, examine barriers that might prevent sustained participation in regular physical activity and develop coping strategies to strengthen resiliency and help make getting active easier.

The second hour of each session is focused on physical activity and led by a staff member from the recreation centre. As a group, the participants try new games, sports and fitness classes each week, both indoors and outdoors. In addition to the group-led activity, participants are encouraged to continue their physical activity journey with a complimentary 10-week pass to the recreation centre.

Dennis Adamson, Chair of the Recreation, Culture and Airpark Services Commission, said he is happy to see this new program coming to Hope. “Anxiety seems to be common amongst teenagers. Mind Fit will teach coping strategies that will benefit participants throughout their lives, while giving teens in our community the opportunity to be more active.”

Mind Fit will be delivered by the Hope and Area Transition Society in partnership with the YMCA. It is supported by the BC Physical Activity Strategy, which is co-led by the BC Alliance for Healthy Living and the Province of BC. Registration packages will be available in September 2018.  Further information can be obtained by contacting Bonnie Millward at the Hope and Area Transition Society at 604-869-5111.