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Team Unbreakable (Posted On: Tuesday, February 05, 2013)

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A new running therapy group for youth called Team Unbreakable will be launched March 20th at the YMCA in Collingwood. Its goal is to give youth struggling with depression and anxiety tools to overcome personal challenges. The initiative is the collaborative effort of five local organizations, United Way South Georgian Bay, General & Marine Hospital Foundation, Collingwood YMCA, Georgian Bay Family Health Team and Georgian Triangle Running Club.
Two 12-week running groups will be offered starting the week after March Break. Therapist Charlotte von Prondzinski from the Georgian Bay Family Health Team will offer biweekly runs for teens referred to the program by their family doctor. Ultra-runner Nick Brindisi, founder of the Georgian Triangle Running Club, will offer a second mentoring run group, for youth struggling with life's many stressors, of biweekly, after-school runs starting from the YMCA. Both programs will be available to youth ages 13-19.

Team Unbreakable is modeled after a pilot program started in 2006 by Dan McGann, a Social Worker who grew up in Collingwood and attended CCI. McGann started the pilot program at Mississauga�s Credit Valley Hospital, for youth battling anxiety and depression. The program has grown and Collingwood is the sixth city in Ontario to offer it to teens. It is also now being piloted at the Peel District School Board.

Says Jory Pritchard-Kerr, Executive Director of the Hospital Foundation: "The Collingwood G&M Hospital Foundation is a proud supporter of the Team Unbreakable program. This will be an excellent resource for youth in our community that we're confident will enhance mental health and general wellness. It is our pleasure to support this very worthwhile initiative through our Community Education Endowment Fund."

Each run session is approximately an hour and will begin with a short talk from an Inspirational speaker, followed by a mood awareness evaluation and group run. �Physical activity helps reduce depression and anxiety, while building self-esteem and developing coping skills,� says Brindisi. �We know that kids today are faced with a lot of obstacles. Our goal is to help kids look at life like a series of hills. Running helps us mentally cope with every day challenges and teaches perseverance.� The group will start with smaller distances and work up to 5 and 10km.

By keeping a runner�s log of their mood before and after a run, route conditions, distance achieved, and run time, young people increase their self-awareness and develop mental resilience�to keep going and stay positive and focused when faced with challenges, making them Unbreakable!

For more information or to register, please visit the Team Unbreakable page on Facebook or contact Nick Brindisi at (705) 446-7194.

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