Local youth mental wellness programs receive funding

Press Release


Thirteen Yukon organizations are receiving $400,000 in funding from the Yukon government’s Youth Mental Wellness Grant for programs that promote youth mental wellness.

BGC Yukon, BYTE – Empowering Youth Society, the Heart of Riverdale Community Centre and the Youth of Today Society will receive a total of $272,000 in funding. This is in addition to the operational funding received by these organizations.

Nine other youth-serving organizations across the Yukon will receive a total of $128,000 for a range of projects that will support mental wellness amongst Yukon youth.

The Youth Mental Wellness Grant is providing funding for projects that demonstrate the use of the 40 Developmental Assets Model identified by the Search Institute and adapted for the Yukon. These development assets are values, traits and experiences that are essential to a young person’s success. The more assets young people have, the more likely they are to thrive, to make healthy choices and to avoid harmful behaviours.

Through the Youth Mental Wellness Grant, we are supporting local organizations across the territory who are working to increase the mental wellness and substance use prevention initiatives available in the Yukon and give youth new avenues for growth and positive development. I look forward to seeing Yukon youth gain new experiences and receive the support they need to live happy, healthy and successful lives.

Premier Sandy Silver

Quick facts

  • The funding is provided through the new, one-time Youth Mental Wellness Grant that was announced in August 2022.
  • The Search Institute is the creator of the 40 Developmental Assets framework and holds the copyright.


BGC Yukon

Funding will help enable BGC Yukon to expand their services through the All Stars Program and Downtown Drop-In Youth Centre by adding an additional day. It will also allow staff to take mental health and wellness training and help to expand Project Backpack – a program that provides families with ingredients to provide four meals every week to support nutrition and foods education, connect the family unit and support sustainable foods access.

BYTE – Empowering Youth Society

Funding will be put towards phase one of the “Northern Youth Want” project which gives youth a platform to be heard, be included in the policy making process and will empower them to take action on topics they are passionate about. This will be done through panel discussions hosted in Whitehorse and the communities and through the creation of an advocacy workshop that will include topics such as: how to write a letter to the editor, how to vote and the importance of voting and how to organize a rally or fundraiser.

The Heart of Riverdale Community Centre

Funding will help to host social events through the winter and spring “for youth, by youth”, including dance battles, live music and art workshops, as well as two larger community events that will welcome the broader public and engage youth and families through food, art and entertainment.

Youth of Today Society

Funding will be used to address mental health and wellness gaps that are affecting youth and were identified at the 2022 Yukon Youth Summit. This will be done by providing youth with a meaningful voice at all levels of government to ensure youth perspectives are represented across all government work; increasing the number of political education and literacy opportunities available to young people so that they can better advocate for their needs and create systems change; and increasing the accessibility of youth panels, committees and councils so that all youth can participate regardless of their skill level, backgrounds and experiences.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon

Funding will help launch the Connect Across Generations project, an intergenerational program that pairs older adult mentors (50+) with youth. Connect Across Generations is intended to provide the benefits of one-to-one mentoring and address the stresses of isolation and disconnect from the community that youth may have undergone throughout the pandemic. It also aims to increase self-esteem and feelings of well-being and challenge participants to release assumptions, think from different perspectives, and to better understand and practice compassion.

Industrial Arts and Technology Society of Yukon

Funding will be used towards a hands-on training afterschool program in Dawson City. Participants will learn skills including woodworking, welding, sewing and carving.

Kluane First Nation

Funding will be used to establish ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ in Burwash Landing, Copper Joe, Destruction Bay, Haines Junction and Whitehorse. The sessions will bring in community members to speak to youth about mental wellness supports available in the communities, teach them about healthy sustainable relationships and engage them in physical activity.

Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon

The funding will support the development of an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) support program to address a gap in services for youth with ADHD and additional mental health challenges. Youth will attend sessions to learn about ADHD and how it affects them, and work on breaking down any false beliefs or barriers they carry about themselves with the intent of gaining clarity and confidence in their neurodiversity.

Lorne Mountain Community Association

Funding will be used towards a Youth Empowerment Series that focusses on the ABC’s of mental health – [A]ctive and balanced living, [B]elonging in community and stewardship and [C]reative/artistic outlets and self-expression. Youth will engage in outdoor recreation, including foraging, family activities, storytelling and arts.

Marsh Lake Community Society

Funding will support youth winter arts activities to promote confidence, socialization and skill building. Programming will include painting and open mic nights and will provide opportunities for youth mentorship.

Town of Faro

Funding will revitalize the Faro Youth Group. Youth will have the opportunity to learn from artists Denis Shorty and Vashti Etzel from Ross River, and participate in a drum making workshop where they will use their creations in an organized community drumming circle. Other activities will include beading, carving and woodwork.

Village of Teslin

Funding will support a spring youth bison hunt. The initiative will provide one-to-one mentoring with adults and youth and provide positive role-modelling and relationship-building opportunities.

Yukon Theatre for Young People

Funding will support weekly workshops for youth that cover topics such as body positivity, acceptance, self-expression and teamwork. The workshops will help the youth build relationships and gain confidence so that they feel prepared to begin work on a large company project – a stage show of Beauty and the Beast in 2023.


Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Shari-Lynn MacLellan
Communications, Executive Council Office, Aboriginal Relations


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