YMCA supports young people to grow in body, mind and spirit
Young people can go through a multitude of social, emotional, physical and intellectual changes as they grow up. For many young people adolescence is an exciting time where they are discovering their independence and identity. For others it can be a challenging period where they may be unsure of how to deal with or respond to certain issues. Some of these issues may include the following: family conflict, housing, financial stress, mental health & wellbeing, engaging in education/work, disconnection from the community, problematic alcohol or drug use, sexuality & gender identity.
Raising sensitive issues and resolving problems that arise along the way can be challenging for young people, and at times parents, guardians and teachers may find it hard to tell the difference between their 'normal teenage behavior' and 'at risk behavior'.
How does YMCA support young people?
Our Youth Mentoring program pairs responsible adults from all ages and walks-of-life with young people in need of a bit of extra guidance. As they develop a genuinely supportive relationship the program brings benefits to both the young person and the mentor.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is someone willing to spend quality time with another person who might not have other sources of trust or support. A mentor demonstrates healthy behaviours and is different to being a friend, parent or teacher. The interactions between mentor and mentee are designed to form a structured, safe and secure space for a young person to be themselves without judgement.
Regular catch-ups are a chance for young people to talk about their life and have someone there to listen, care and offer support. Mentors often also learn lots of new things from the young person. Possible activities include bowling, visiting galleries or just going for a coffee.
The experience is really rewarding. The young person has someone to look up to and rely on and the mentors know they are making a real difference in a young person's life. Many people mentor as a way of giving back to their community.
Youth Counselling - Youth Support - Case Management
These are different terms to describe a one-on-one supportive relationship between a professionally trained staff person and a vulnerable, at risk young person. Usually this type of support is time-limited and in partnership with other support services that may be in place for the young person.
Contact your local YMCA to find out if individual youth support is offered. For more information please contact the Youth Empowerment Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.