Oksana was going through a difficult time when she came to the Greater Vancouver YMCA. She’s struggled with mental health issues most of her adult life and was very depressed. She knew that working out could help, but as she was unable to work, she couldn’t afford a gym membership. When someone told her about the YMCA’s policy of not turning anyone away for financial reasons, Oksana was very excited. 

Oksana remembers her first time at the Y. She and her husband were promptly greeted by friendly and supportive staff. Because they both were receiving government assistance, they quickly received memberships. “Without the financial assistance giving a discount rate on monthly membership fees, we would have not been able to afford it,” Oksana shared.

 Oksana was excited to have access to the top of the line facilities at YMCA, and she decided to commit to the program of regular exercise.  “The benefits of exercise are great to me, as it helps me to feel stronger, healthier and be in better spirits. I consider it to be part of my treatment for depression.”

Oksana is happy with the healthy changes she’s been able to make in her life and grateful for the Y’s help. “The main thing for me is the feeling that I’m a part of community, and that we live in a place where people care about other people and can strengthen the bonds between each other. I hope that YMCA continues to provide service and support where it is needed most and make a difference in someone’s life as they did for me.”