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Current and past participants of the Youth Brightside Program standing with Jenny Adams YMCA Centre Manager

Thanks to a $9,640 grant from the ETC Community Support Fund, the YMCA Macksville can continue to provide their Youth Brightside Mental Health & Wellbeing Program.

YMCA Centre Manager Jenifer Adams said without this funding the program might not have been able to continue.

“The money from ETC was very important to us because we were able to give the program longevity,” Ms Adams said.

The Youth Brightside Program is a pilot recovery program that will benefit young people between 12-18 years of age who have mental illness, ranging from mild anxiety to mood disorders including depression.

Youth Brightside provides access to the program for the 12-16 years age group and also targets those who may be at risk. It can provide a valuable and viable preventative measure which is attractive to this age bracket and aims to help them make better lifestyle choices for their futures.

The development of Youth Brightside follows the successful Brightside Program which YMCA introduced in recent years catering for those aged 16 years and over, and has been used in 20 centres in NSW.

“Both programs include small group exercise, one-on-one personal training, and encourage peer social support,” Ms Adams said.

“Youth Brightside teaches them respect, discipline and how live healthy life styles. It gives them some structure and they learn how to work with other people. It is a component of the Wesley Sands Program.”

Ms Adams said there has been some positive outcomes for the program participants.

“We’ve seen behavioural changes in some of the students. They have been concentrating more at school and are happy to continue their studies,” Ms Adams said.

One of the Brightside participants, Hope, said the program had made her more mature and think of the future more.

“Since we’ve been doing the program, I’ve been wagging school less and staying focused. It’s given me something to look forward to. Now I want to finish Year 12 and become a Chef,” said Hope.

For more information about the Brightside Program contact the YMCA Centre on (02) 6568 1445.

ETC Director Graeme Singleton said it had been a pleasure to be able to support the YMCA Youth Brightside Mental Health & Wellbeing Program.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations improve the social and economic development of local communities,” Mr Singleton said.

“Since 1989, ETC has placed over 54,500 Australians into jobs, trained more than 27,000 people, helped over 37,000 small businesses to start-up and grow, and contributed in excess of $25 million to the local communities in which we operate.”



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