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World YMCA Mental Health and Wellbeing Reimagine teams

December 16, 2020 The Y in Australia

The World YMCA Mental Health and Wellbeing Community of Impact, led by the Y Australia, is well underway. Commencing in November 2020, Reimagine teams from 15 National YMCAs, have been hard at work ‘diving deep’ into project’s challenge questions:

How might the YMCA have the greatest impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young people around the globe?”

How might we revolutionize our approach to mental health and wellbeing and become the world’s leading advocate for young people globally?

With participants from around the world, from France to Kenya, from Mexico to Bangladesh, exciting ideas that are being explored include:

  • A Mental Health & Wellbeing Charter and a Toolbox to help support youth workers design and deliver programs using a common approach and language to mental health and wellbeing
  • Ways to increase awareness of mental health amongst young people
  • An app concept “appY” to provide a web page referral/clinical support system that helps connect young people to the support they need
  • A guidebook for Y Staff to support them to provide more comprehensive guidance for young people in their mental health journey
  • A resource library to better support diversity and inclusion

The teams are currently in the “Test and Learn” sprint, where they are designing and running simple and practical ‘experiments’ to test and validate (or invalidate) their ideas. This sprint has been extended to give the teams some more time to further test and explore their ideas. The first batch of questions to our lab champions (an amazing group of international mental health experts) is about to be dispatched and the teams are eagerly waiting the lab champions’ responses.

The Showcase “Pitch” Event, where the teams will present their ideas to an audience of International Y Staff and beyond will now be held on Wed 27 January 2pm Geneva time (1pm UTC). We’ll distribute the Zoom link (for those of you in Australia who don’t mind staying up into the early hours of the morning to view this exciting event).

Running parallel with the global reimagine labs, were the Y Australian Reimagine teams, over 70 participants completing their sprints across four focus areas: (1) safe spaces for all; (2) environmental sustainable action; (3) youth employment; and (4) staff mental wellbeing. All four presentations were showcased to the broader Y on 10 December, with a view to the ideas being built into the Y’s next strategic plan, and workplans and budgets for 2021.

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