Yukon mental health organization seeks funding to start meditation program

The Mental Health Association of Yukon applied for nearly $50,000 in funding from the City of Whitehorse to start the program, but its application was denied this week.

Mental Health Association of Yukon hopes to start drop-in sessions in the new year

Yukoners want to try meditation but want a space and instructor to guide them, said Tiffanie Tasane, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Yukon. (Getty Images/Hero Images)

The Mental Health Association of Yukon is trying to start a drop-in meditation program in Whitehorse.

It applied for nearly $50,000 from the city's fall recreation grant. But at Monday's city council meeting, the task force that allocates funding for the grant denied the association's application.

Coun. Samson Hartland asked the task force why the association didn't receive funding. The task force did not give a specific reason, but suggested it was because of the large ask — the city only had $36,000 to allocate between 11 applications for the fall grant.

The task force said it will have city staff follow up with the organization to steer it in the right direction for grant funding.

"Meditation is meant to be done in community, so that is where this idea came from," said Tiffanie Tasane, executive director of the association.

Tasane said the association often hears from people who would like to continue meditation but have a hard time keeping up on their own. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

It wants to have drop-in meditation sessions, led by a facilitator, several times a week. The sessions would not be free of charge.

'Big vision'

Tasane said the $50,000 that was requested would pay for the space, things like meditation cushions and chairs, as well as program facilitators.

"It's a big vision," said Tasane.

The association is starting a beginner meditation class on Monday and hopes to expand the program from there. 

"We will slowly develop the drop-in opportunities as we're able," said Tasane.

It hopes to start the drop-in program sometime in the new year.