YMCA program helps youth with mental health challenges get a job

Jun 3 2016, 1:58 am

Finding a job in Vancouver is tough, so imagine how hard it must be for someone with limited work experience dealing with mental health issues.

It’s estimated that up to 20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness, and many young people are not able to access the support they need. In addition, if you’re between 15 to 24 years old, you’re twice as likely to be unemployed as someone 25 years or older.

Those statistics make for some tough reading, and it’s for these reasons the YMCA developed the Youth BEAT Program. This holistic health and employment program helps young people, ages 15 to 29, access mental health support while also getting assistance finding and keeping a job.

Program participants are provided with job readiness and life skills workshops, basic skills upgrading, and career planning. They also receive short term certificate training based on employment goals, while learning about the requirements of employers looking to hire. In addition, they get help in other areas, including health and wellness, housing, financial assistance and community connections.

From there, participants receive job placement support to secure a work placement that’s appropriate to their skills and career direction. While many businesses are developing more awareness around mental health in the workplace, an employer’s lack of understanding, knowledge or willingness to learn about accommodations could inevitably result in a termination of employment . The Youth BEAT program works with local employers who have the knowledge and resources to be fully supportive of any participant who comes through the program.

The YMCA Youth BEAT Employment Program provides youth with life changing career opportunities so they’re able to conquer their dreams despite mental health challenges. In addition, as part of its healthy lifestyle approach, participants will receive a complimentary six month fitness membership to use at any of the YMCA’s locations.

To learn more about the program call (604) 685-8066 or email [email protected] to register for an upcoming information session. Space is limited and next intake begins July 4.

Visit the YMCA’s website for more information. 


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