Youth In Mind is a statewide nonprofit organization made up of young people (ages 12-28) affected by the mental health system seeking to promote positive change through leadership and advocacy within the field. Youth In Mind members participate in all levels of system change including member leadership summits, mental health conferences, and local advocacy opportunities.
Youth In Mind (YIM) annually puts on two educational institutes where young leaders affected by mental health come together, build community and learn tools including, but not limited to de-stigmatizing mental health struggles, community organizing, developing strategic campaigns, media tools, policy development and implementation, and wellness programming. Since YIM’s inception, our annual conferences and workshops have impacted 667 participants within California, and engaged 40 participants in the design and development of four statewide conferences.
In addition, YIM merged conferences with the California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth (CMHACY); the largest mental health conference in California for over 30 years. Our members facilitate workshops for CMHACY attendees on a multitude of topics, such as revolutionizing storytelling through digital media and the therapeutic components of this approach, breaking down the barriers of mental health constituency in the Juvenile Justice system, new approaches to youth engagement and how to be an adult ally, and institutionalizing wellness programming for youth and workers. On a local level, YIM members conduct policy panels, participate in conference and summit plenaries, travel for workshop facilitation, and participate in local and statewide decision making boards. YIM Locals are active in their communities leading gift drives for psychiatric hospitals, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walks, intergenerational social justice dances, and social gatherings for the mental health community.