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10 young people will focus on advancing youth peer support policy, programs and services

Alexandria, VA – Mental Health America (MHA) today is thrilled to announce the first cohort of the new MHA Youth Policy Accelerator, a group of 10 young people between the ages of 18-25 with diverse backgrounds and identities who have demonstrated a commitment to advance mental health policy nationally.

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

“Today’s youth leaders are driven to make real change where it counts, including advancing youth peer-to-peer support programs that offer mental health support for youth, by youth,” said Kelly Davis, vice president of peer and youth advocacy at MHA. “This unique program translates mental health passion to policy action, equips young leaders with knowledge of how the system works, and amplifies youth voices and power at the policy table.”

The 2023 MHA Youth Policy Accelerator participants include:

  • Tianna Celis-Webster (she/her), Puna, Hawaii
  • Zofia Trexler (they/she), Fresno, California
  • Saiarchana Darira (she/her), New York, New York
  • Malachi King (he/him), Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Isabel Ohakamma (she/her), Houston, Texas
  • Dionne Regis (she/her), Denton, Texas
  • Aimee Resnick (she/her), Centennial, Colorado
  • Trace Terrell (he/they), La Pine, Oregon
  • Chandler Morrell (he/him), Wilmington, Delaware
  • Edward Sun (he/him), Fort Wayne, Indiana

Learn more and read each member’s bio here.


About Mental Health America

Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-driven nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental health and well-being, resilience, recovery, and closing the mental health equity gap. Mental Health America’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of whole-person health, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; and integrated care, services and supports for those who need them. Learn more at