MHA announces new Youth Policy Accelerator

MHA Admin

Tue, 08/08/2023 – 17:18

by Kelly Davis, MHA Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy

Since launching the Young Leaders Council in 2017, Mental Health America (MHA) has worked with young leaders transforming their communities and demanding change across the country. Now, we are expanding our initiatives to advance youth leadership in national mental health policy via MHA’s Youth Policy Accelerator. Our inaugural cohort will focus on driving national conversations around youth peer support and peer services.

Who is it for?

This program is for young people ages 18-25 with diverse identities and experiences, who are passionate about peer support and are interested in expanding their network and skills in mental health policy. To form our first cohort, we will identify 10 leaders who have demonstrated leadership at the local, state, or national levels.

What is it?

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.

Members should anticipate dedicating two-four hours to the program per week throughout the duration of the sessions.

When and where is it happening?

The 90-minute sessions will be held via Zoom weekly on Saturdays from 1-2:30 p.m. ET/10-11:30 a.m. PT from Oct. 7 to Dec. 2, 2023.

Why should I join?

You should apply if you want to ensure all young people have access to peer support while growing your network and learning policy advocacy skills.

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, and 
  • Join MHA’s Expanding Impact Network of more than 100 outstanding graduates of MHA’s youth leaders programs for ongoing training and support.

How do I apply?

Learn more and apply at 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

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Author: MHA Admin