In November 2020, World YMCA along with the Y Australia launched a global initiative called the “Mental Health & Wellbeing Reimagine Lab”. A series of online workshops, with Y participants from all over the world, was facilitated by the global strategy design agency Business Models Inc (BMI). The main goal was to come up with innovative and bold ideas to revolutionise the way the Y approaches mental health. On 27 January 2021, six teams presented their solutions and opened a new path full of energy and creativity to move forward.
During the sessions, Y participants were encouraged to think differently and to expand their imagination. Secretary General Carlos Sanvee said: “Let’s push our limits, let’s explore new frontiers, and let’s do things we do not usually do. We have to be relevant to the needs of young people in their communities”.
Melinda Crole, Y Australia’s CEO made a plea: “ Let’s build a bridge over something new – let’s move move away from ‘either/or’ and go to ‘both/and’ ”.
The BMI facilitators then introduced the various teams and their solutions: “The future is uncertain, so the best skill we can teach is the ability to navigate uncertainty. This creates resilience and agility”.
All the teams came up with solutions which are digital, collaborative and scalable.
World YMCA’s President Patricia Pelton closed the session, congratulating all teams: “We have talked about why we must have strong Ys, and said that we need to serve young people who need us more than ever, but even more importantly to serve young people whom WE need more than ever – as agents of change! Clearly, this Reimagination Lab Showcase – Global Community of Impact Mental Health and Wellbeing demonstrates this in abundance”.
The Reimagine Lab is part of the work of a newly-launched global YMCA ‘Community of Impact’ on Mental Health. This Community is led by The Y Australia, and brings together some 20 national Y Movements from all over the world to map, share, replicate and accelerate all the work they are already doing in this field. The Reimagine Lab will feed into the final dimension of the Community of Impact, which is to innovate.