YMHLC member spotlight: Rei Scott

MHA Admin

Tue, 02/21/2023 – 15:50

The 2022-2023 Mental Health America Young Mental Health Leaders Council (YMHLC) represents young leaders from across the U.S. who have created programs and initiatives that fill gaps in traditional mental health services in their communities. This year’s cohort is working to address mental health across many areas including education, housing, foster care, addiction recovery, and state-level policy.

Over the next several weeks, get to know the 10 amazing individuals using their lived experience and youth perspective to make big differences in the lives of those around them.

Name: Rei Scott      
Pronouns: he/him and xe/xem      
Location: Columbus, Ohio      
School: Ohio State University      
Leadership and other positions: Executive Board Member of Students with Psychosis      
Social media: @sealikesword

headshot of Rei Scott
Photo submitted by Rei Scott

Why did you want to join the YMHLC?

I wanted to join the YMHLC to expand my reach within mental health advocacy and learn new perspectives.

Tell us about your work and interests.

I advocate for the lived-experience perspective through the global nonprofit Students With Psychosis, as well as on a local level. I am interested in housing and food insecurity as it relates to mental health, art as a tool for healing, and building community for those who have especially stigmatized diagnoses or symptoms. Outside of mental health, I love to make art and play video games.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from other YMHLC members?

Your advocacy is always enough. I have a bad habit of comparing myself to people deemed more “successful” than myself, and at times it makes me feel hopeless, like a failure – but that’s not true. Every step towards a better world is meaningful.

What are your mental health advocacy goals?

My advocacy goals start with my community. I would like to change how my university and the Columbus (Ohio) area approach people with mental health conditions, hopefully expanding access to resources along the way. On a larger scale, I want to change how self-harm and suicide are addressed, and to advocate on a national policy level.

painting of black cat amid pumpkins
Photo submitted by Rei Scott

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Author: MHA Admin