Monday January 15 is considered Blue Monday, a day when depression can be at its worst. - Image: Pixabay

Kelowna, Lake Country services tackle Blue Monday

Considered the most depressing day of the year, the YMCA says there are services to help

Today is Blue Monday—considered the most depressing time of the year for many— with shorter days, fading holiday memories, gloomy weather and the return back to work and responsibility.

The Kelowna YMCA says it is important to be able to recognize the effects this time of year has on mental health and ask for assistance if you feel it is more than just temporary blues.

With ongoing supports available through the Canadian Mental Health Association and with the addition of Foundry Kelowna, there are several opportunities to seek help. And now, in addition to these, the YMCA of Okanagan has announced it’s partnership with the YMCA of British Columbia’s Y Mind initiative—bringing a new mental health program for young adults to the Okanagan community.

With $3 million in funding support provided by the Government of British Columbia, the YMCA Mindfulness Group program, as a part of the Y Mind initiative, will expand to five regions across the province, providing young adults tools and coping mechanisms to manage stress, worries and anxiety.

“Y Mind will give young adults the tools to be able to cope with the stressors that are going on in life right now,” explained Y Mind Manager, Jan Locke. “So many individuals today feel the environment and world they live in creates anxiety and it can be extremely overwhelming. This program will help to take away the isolation and debilitation of anxiety.”

Mindfulness groups, led by trained mental health professionals, are open to young people between 18 and 30-years-old who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety. There is no cost to participate and referrals are not required. Each young person also receives a complimentary health and fitness membership to their local YMCA for the duration of the program.

One hundred per cent of participants surveyed say their quality of life improved after participating in a YMCA Mindfulness program.

With sessions throughout 2018 occurring at the Kelowna Family YMCA and Foundry Kelowna, the YMCA of Okanagan and participating partners intend to ensure this offering is easily accessible to young people in our community.

If you or someone you know is interested, the Y is offering an information session on Jan.17 for their upcoming session starting Jan. 31, 2018. To register please contact Jan at 250-317-7980 or or learn more at

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