Youth Policy Accelerator
The Youth Policy Accelerator partners with young people to identify and create policy solutions that are most important to them. In this two-month intensive program, participants build confidence, explore their interest areas, gain policy knowledge, and develop skills like storytelling. They then co-create a campaign and resources to advance their collective priorities.
Graduates of MHA’s youth policy leadership initiatives have spoken at MHA’s Regional Policy Council meeting and Annual Conference, attended Annual Hill Day meetings with U.S. congressional offices, and engaged in advocacy with our state and local affiliates.
Evolving Impact Network
The Evolving Impact Network is an ongoing personal and professional development community for the more than 100 graduates of MHA’s youth leadership programs. It includes monthly learning sessions across a wide range of topics in mental health advocacy, including community care, mental health rights, and media, as well as ongoing internal and external leadership opportunities.
Campus Mental Health Disability Rights Project
In 2023, MHA is leading a yearlong initiative to advance student-driven priorities and solutions to mental health discrimination. Funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, we are working with more than 20 current and recent college students with mental health disabilities to document their recommendations for improving (1) the accessibility of mental health accommodations, (2) campus mental health crisis response, and (3) re-integration on campus post-crisis.
Campus Peer Support
MHA is collaborating with the Temple University Collaborative for Community Inclusion and Doors to Wellbeing to identify and explore the experiences of college students in peer support programs. Additionally, the project aims to bridge the gaps between the peer support movement with the growing number of campus-based peer support programs.
B4Stage4 Policy Fellowship
The B4Stage4 Policy Fellow supports MHA’s work to advance innovative, evidence-based, and equitable youth mental health programs. Each year, the fellow conducts original research and provides research to create and advance policies that promote mental health, well-being, and inclusion among young people.
Mental Health America’s 2021-2022 Young Mental Health Leaders Council discuss their recent report on intergenerational collaboration in mental health.
This research project is led by Mental Health America, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.
Aliza Lopez is a 17-year-old mental health activist and graduate of MHA’s Our Future in Mind youth leadership program.