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Mental Health America (MHA) is excited to announce our new Young Mental Health Leaders Council. For the past three years, MHA’s Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council (CMHIC) has identified student leaders impacting campus mental health. By focusing on student-led programs that fill gaps in traditional mental health services, CMHIC highlighted the concerns of college students and model student-led programs to be expanded to additional campuses. Now, we are opening the program to all young adults ages 18-25-year-olds.

“Mental health concerns among young people are rising, yet traditional resources have not been able to keep up with the demand,” said Kelly Davis, Director of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America. “The old ways of doing things are not working. We need new ideas, approaches, and comprehensive resources to support the wellbeing of young people.”

The new program will identify leaders who have created programs or initiatives that fill gaps in mental health supports and resources in their communities. Efforts could include starting a mental health and sports program, developing an app, launching a policy initiative, or more.

Selected members will participate in virtual meetings over a 6-month term. Members will have opportunities for mentorship, connect to a broader network of young leaders, and share their stories and work to MHA’s over 800,000 social media followers, along with our affiliates and partners. Additionally, members will receive a stipend and contribute to a report highlighting significant issues and solutions in youth and young adult mental health.

“Young people are growing up in an incredibly different world. Their lived experience is essential in driving how we address mental health,” concluded Davis. “If we are committed to creating healthier communities and lives for young people, we not only have to integrate their ideas, but we also need to support them in leading the way.”