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: Jose Caballero
Location: Miami, Florida (born and raised in Nicaragua)
Leadership and other positions: Founder of In Touch and founder and editor in chief of Get In Touch Blog
Social media: @joseeezc
Photo submitted by Mariama Bah
Why did you want to join the YMHLC?
Joining the YMHLC was an opportunity for me to not only be a part of a supportive community of young individuals who are dedicated to mental health advocacy, but also to grow as an advocate myself while also gaining new perspectives on mental health issues and sharing my unique story, passions, and ideas.
Tell us about your work and interests.
My interests are centered around promoting mental well-being in schools and advancing our understanding of mental health struggles through research. I founded the first mental health awareness nonprofit at my school, volunteer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Community Walks, write for the Get In Touch Blog, and have conducted independent research on the relationship between body satisfaction and mental health.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from other YMHLC members?
The three key takeaways from my experience with fellow members are innovation, resilience, and commitment. Through interacting with my peers, I have learned the importance of incorporating lived experiences into intersectional mental health advocacy. This valuable lesson has not only shaped my own advocacy work but has also reinvigorated my motivation. I feel honored to be part of such a dynamic and inspiring community.
What are your mental health advocacy goals?
From working with policymakers to integrate mental health education into school curricula to conducting research on the experiences of marginalized communities in regards to mental health, my goal is to promote a more inclusive and equitable approach to mental health support and resources in our communities while bringing the rich tapestry of mental health experiences and stressors that exist in our society to academia.
Photo submitted by Photo submitted by Mariama Bah
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Funded, in part, by a donation from JCPenney.