YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run: Building resilience in young people


With one in four young people struggling with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, building resilience is more important now than ever. All funds raised through the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run go towards building resilience in our young people.

Part of the funds raised in 2016 went towards YMCA Southern Peninsula Youth Services Manager Jeanette Horsley’s, Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) facilitator training. A course that teaches adults how to assist young people who are developing a mental health problem or are in mental health crisis.

Since being accredited in August 2017, Jeanette has so far held 13 courses, training 100 YMCA staff and 115 teenagers, and will continue running more courses in the future.

What made you want to do this?

“I work with young people on a daily basis – many of whom I have the privilege of having long term relationships with, so I have seen their struggles and achievements. Through my studies and practice-based experiences, there is evidence to support the positive outcomes for young people who are assisted early when experiencing mental illness or mental health problems.

I witness firsthand the positive outcomes young people can achieve when mental health problems are treated as a normal part of teenage development. These outcomes are achievable through greater mental health awareness and education in both our adult communities and teenage communities.”

What have you learned about building resilience in young people at YMCA Victoria?

“YMCA Victoria works in diverse communities across the state and is the ideal organisation to step up and promote Mental Health First Aid education as a core commitment across all its centres and operations. The Y has an amazing team of people working in a diverse range of areas. With every course delivered comes the stories of how people across the organisation are being challenged by situations where colleagues, friends, family members and often themselves, are struggling with mental health problems, disorders and/or illness. As these stories are shared, it is uplifting and exciting to see people responding in such a positive way to the information and conversation YMHFA encourages and delivers.”

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