As the Y approaches its 175th anniversary event, influential young people from all over the world prepare to make the journey to London, where they will meet to discuss current issues and bold ideas at Y175, 4-8 August. Jayden Parsons is one of 48 Australians representing the Y in Australia, and one of 10 young people chosen to speak, or present workshops on the global stage.
As a self-described “rather opinionated teenager”, Jayden was first introduced to the Y after his high school suggested he take part in the Queensland Youth Parliament. Jayden was so struck by the impact that the program was having on himself and the young people around him that he immediately began looking for ways to give back to the organisation.
Soon enough, Jayden was presented with the opportunity to participate in the Y’s Inspired Leaders Program in Brisbane. Not long after that he became a member of the program’s facilitation team, before finally moving into his current position as Youth Development Coordinator and founder of his own original program, ‘mYnd-pump’.
mYnd-pump aims to involve young people in physical activity as a means of improving their mental health, a cause Jayden holds particularly dear. “My struggles with my own mental health came from me being physically inactive, so I personally knew the impact that exercise can have,” explains Jayden. “mYnd-pump came about from my passion for mental health and my desire to teach people, particularly young people, about the benefit of physical and mental health.”
While mYnd-pump’s core mission is to educate young people on the relationship between physical and mental wellbeing, Jayden also stresses the equally important community aspect of the program. “The difference with mYnd-pump is that we do it in a group environment, so the focus is on the social side of things and the community it creates,” explains Jayden.
With mYnd-pump already in several sites in Queensland, Australia, Jayden has been asked to share his brainchild with the rest of the international movement at Y175. “It’s very exciting,” says Jayden. “It’s my passion project and I want to take it as far as it can go, so we can have an impact on as many young people as we can.”
Jayden’s excited to see what the future holds for mYnd-pump after Y175, but in the meantime, he’s looking forward to pushing on and creating a million more moments the Y can be proud of.
“mYnd-pump came about from my passion for mental health and my desire to teach people, particularly young people, about the benefit of physical and mental health.”– Jayden Parsons