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Thank you for your interest in Mental Health America’s (MHA) Youth Policy Accelerator (YPA). The YPA partners with young people (18-25) with diverse backgrounds and identities who have demonstrated policy impact to advance youth-driven mental health policy nationally.

Our inaugural 2023 cohort will focus on advancing youth peer support programs and services and is designed for young people with direct experience in peer support programs and/or mental health policy advocacy.

In this eight-week paid virtual training, members will learn from and build relationships with leaders in the field, develop their personal strengths in policy advocacy, co-create surveys and original research, and develop recommendations and a campaign to advance youth and young adult peer support.

Selected members will meet weekly on Saturdays from 1-2:30 p.m. ET/10-11:30 a.m. PT from Oct. 7 to Dec. 2, 2023.

As a YPA member, you will:

  • Share your perspective to co-create a youth-driven agenda for peer support
  • Grow your professional network
  • Connect with and learn from national leaders, including other young people
  • Gain valuable experience working on mental health policy, research, and communications
  • Receive a $1,000 stipend
  • Create a national-level campaign to share the cohort’s recommendations
  • Join MHA’s Expanding Impact Network of more than 100 outstanding graduates of MHA’s youth leaders programs for ongoing training and support

Members should anticipate dedicating 2-4 hours to the program per week throughout the duration of the sessions. Participants must be located and authorized to work in the United States.

Please complete the below form to submit your application for the 2023 Youth Policy Accelerator. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.

For questions or support completing the application, contact Jackie Menjivar, MHA's Manager of Peer and Youth Advocacy, at  

Applicants will be notified about selection by September 22, 2023.