Recognizing that health has many determinants the Y strives to create programs, opportunities and experiences that enhance community wellness. Health encompasses more than just physical activity. In its broadest terms, Community Health Programs offer inclusion, safety, respect, care, laughter and learning within a stable and supportive social network.

Power of Being a Girl

The Power of Being a Girl is a one day conference hosted by the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island during YWCA Canada’s Week Without Violence. This initiative provides young girls ages 12-14 in different school districts with the tools to empower themselves and build self-esteem. The goal is to have participants better equipped to deal with the various forms of violence that may impact their lives.

Y Young Moms Program At Kiwanis Family Centre

The Y’s Young Moms Program offers safe, stable, affordable housing for young mothers (aged 16-29) and their child under the age of five years. The program offers an opportunity to live free of violence and substance use. Staff provides flexible individualized support to women working towards their goals including parenting, schooling or employment, emotional and physical wellness, and connecting with their community. Women retain their independence while building resilience, skills and strengths in a community living environment to transition successfully to independent living with their child.

Committed to serving Victoria’s young parent community, the Y’s Young Moms Program also offers a variety of programming that is accessible to both resident moms and the community. Our free drop-in runs every Thursday from 10am-noon, with a healthy breakfast, playroom for the little ones, and a parent and child craft project. We also offer Food Skills for Families, Mother Goose, Nobody’s Perfect, Triple P, and a variety of fun and interactive workshops for our resident and community parents.

Services offered:

  • Individual counseling and emotional support
  • Group programming for resident moms
  • Parenting support
  • Interactive workshops
  • Resource referrals
  • Advocacy support
  • Accompaniment to appointments
  • Activity groups for children and youth
  • Weekly breakfast drop-ins


T: 250.382.1004

Y Pandora Youth Apartments

The Y’s Pandora Youth Apartments is a safe and affordable transitional housing and lifeskills program for youth ages 15-19 with eight self contained bachelor units. Youth who may be experiencing social isolation, poverty, substance abuse or trauma are supported to strive for and attain their educational, employment and wellness goals with the assistance of experienced counselors. Housing support, lifeskills programming, nutrition and cooking groups, counseling, advocacy, and fitness are some of the many supports offered.


T: 250.380.2663


YWCA Encore

YWCA Encore is a FREE 8-week exercise program is designed specifically for women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their lives. Weekly sessions focus on building strength and flexibility and include hydrotherapy, land-based activities and workshops. The exercises target areas affected by breast cancer surgery and treatment, while the workshops provide relaxation techniques and information. Encore is more than an exercise program – it is a safe and supportive environment where women can share their experiences and give and receive support. Participants receive a YMCA-YWCA membership to use during the program.

Encore can help:

  • Improve mobility and flexibility
  • Boost self-esteem and self-image
  • Relieve discomfort associated with surgery and treatment
  • Reduce the risk of Lymphoedema
  • Minimize fatigue from treatment
  • Provide peer support

YWCA Encore relies on the generous cash donations of individuals, companies, organizations and foundations as well as in-kind supplies and volunteer facilitators.

The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island recognizes and thanks Encore’s recent supporters:


                Island Breaststrokers




Registration / Information: 

The next session starts on September 29 2017 at the Downtown YMCA YWCA.


YVI Encore Frequently Asked Questions

YVI Encore Registration Form

YVI Encore Medical Form



YMCA Jumpstep, in partnership with organizations across the province, is a 10-week program for teens ages 13-19 with mild to moderate symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.   Participants, in a small group setting of 10-12 teens, will have an opportunity to connect with and learn from others in their community who are going through similar experiences.  YMCA Jumpstep is run out of the Westhills Y (Langford).

The program: 

A Youth Clinician runs a one-hour session focused on mental health topics and facilitate activities and discussions to support participants in learning healthy life coping skills.

Following this, a YMCA fitness professional leads the group in fitness initiatives to support participants to increase their physical activity and build social connections, tailoring sessions to meet group and individual needs.

Participants receive a free YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island membership for the duration of the program.


  • Current student in School District 62
  • Experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of depression and/or anxiety (a formal diagnosis is not required)
  • Participate in an information session

At the information session, eligible participants will meet program staff, participate in a one-to-one interview and complete intake and assessment forms. Following the information session, YMCA staff will contact all applicants to notify them of their status.


Steps to obtain more information or to register for the next information session:

Fall 2017 Program Session Information:

Information Sessions: Tuesday Oct 10th, 2017 4pm-6pm.

Program Session: Tuesdays from 4-6pm, October 17 – December 19, 2017

Fall 2017 Jumpstep for Teens


Spring 2018 Program Session Information:

Information Sessions: TBA

Program Session: TBA


Mindfulness Groups

Everyone experiences worries and anxiety. The key is to learn how to make sure these don’t get in the way of doing things you care about!

The YMCA Mindfulness Groups offer a free 7-week psychoeducational and support group for young adults ages 18-30 who experience anxiety. Participants learn healthy coping skills, connect with other young people in the community, and get support all in a safe and friendly environment. Programming is supervised by trained mental health professionals.

The group provides a safe, supportive environment where youth can meet others who have had similar experiences and includes:

  • Educational workshops about anxiety and other mental health related topics
  • Practicing evidence-based mindfulness techniques during workshops, a proven tool to help manage anxiety
  • An introduction to Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidenced based therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies
  • Take-home resources to help manage anxiety in between weekly meetings
  • A seven-week YMCA gym membership to encourage youth to manage their anxiety through physical activity

If anxiety is impacting your life and preventing you from doing what you want or need to do, this group can help support you. Join us to learn mindfulness techniques, get helpful tools and resources, and meet other like-minded youth.

Attending an information session is mandatory prior to participating in the program. Register for an upcoming information session by emailing us (please include your contact information and birth date).

To learn more, or to register for an information session, contact the Youth Mindfulness Program Manager 250-386-7511 Ext 413 or

Winter 2018 Program Session Information

Information Sessions: Thursday, January 11th at 5-7pm or Wednesday, January 17th at 5-7pm.

Program Sessions: Late January through March, 2018 (one evening a week, 5-7:30pm – exact dates TBA)

The Winter 2018 Mindfulness Group will be held at the Downtown Y.


If you are in crisis and need immediate support, please contact the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at : 1-888-494-3888, go to the hospital, or call 911.

For additional support, please check out these local community resources:

Anxiety BC

Mood Disorders Association of BC

Healthy Living Programs

Dealing with health challenges can be difficult. YMCA-YWCA Healthy Living Programs are supervised exercise and social programs designed to help you enhance your health while managing specific chronic health conditions.

Healthy Living Programs are much more than an exercise program! Developed in consultation with local rehabilitation clinics and the Island’s BC Cancer Agency, they will provide you with a safe and supportive environment surrounded by fellow members whom share in your experiences. Each Healthy Living Program will:

  • Improve muscle strength, core stability, cardiovascular endurance, balance and flexibility
  • Provide peer-support
  • Provide functional movements you associate to everyday life
  • Boost self-esteem and self-awareness

All programs are held at the Eagle Creek Y in View Royal, located in Eagle Creek Village across from Victoria General Hospital at 25 Helmcken Road.  The facility has:

  • 2-hour free parking
  • Single floor building with front door ramp
  • On bus routes 14, 39, and 22

Healthy Living Programs are free for all YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island Classic and Premium members.  Financial Assistance is available.

All programs starting early November

Breathe Fit: A low-impact strength and cardiovascular fitness program designed to help individuals living with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); pulmonary fibrosis; or chronic asthma, achieve and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am-12pm 

Can Fit: A low-impact physical fitness program designed for individuals living with cancer and in the end of treatment or in remission working together to improve their fitness.Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30am-10:30am 

Fit for Bones: This low-impact fitness program is designed to help individuals living with bone diseases and/or post-joint replacements by improving  their ability to  strengthen their bones through functional fitness and weight bearing exercises. Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm-7pm 

Steps to obtain more information or to register:

250.386.7511 x 316



Community Health Program Supporters

The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island recognizes and thanks the major supporters of these Community Health programs:

The Trudy & Doug Peden Charitable Foundation

Coast Capital Savings

The Home Depot Canada Foundation                                                                              


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