5 reasons to apply for MHA’s Young Leaders Council

MHA Admin

Tue, 06/20/2023 – 16:55

by Kelly Davis, MHA Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy

Since launching in 2017, Mental Health America’s youth leadership programs have inspired and empowered more than 100 outstanding young mental health leaders. As part of their work, members have appeared in The New York Times and Teen Vogue, gained leadership opportunities with UNICEF and the White House, worked with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and National Academies of Science, and met with state and federal legislators, among other accomplishments.

Applications for our 2023-2024 Young Leaders Council (YLC) cohort are now open, and selected members receive many benefits – including speaking at MHA events, sharing their ideas in an annual report, and receiving one-on-one mentoring. But don’t take our word for it; below are five reasons to join the YLC from our 2022-2023 cohort.

1. Expand your network and leadership opportunities.

“I realized I am here to show compassion and love for others because we all struggle with mental health. Since joining the YLC, my work has doubled up with more opportunities with people around the world.” – Mariama Bah

2. Learn how to collaborate more effectively for change.

“I’ve been looking for more individuals who are committed to not just spreading awareness, but bringing real and sustainable change to their individual communities. My cohort has taught me so much about re-imagining organizing to be more sustainable and democratic for all.” – Crystal Widado

3. Get inspired and connected to peers.

“I was looking for and found a space where we all can be our authentic selves and talk about more than surface-level subjects. I learned from fellow leaders’ advocacy and was rejuvenated by the passion and compassion behind them.” – Savannah Frye

4. Expand your knowledge and understanding about intersectional mental health issues.

“I learned the importance of incorporating lived experiences into intersectional mental health advocacy, [shaping] my own advocacy work and reinvigorating my motivation.“ – Jose Caballero

5. Support your own mental health while supporting others.

“The best lesson I have learned from my fellow YLC members has been about prioritizing my own mental health and well-being as an advocate and leader. We have been able to foster and encourage kindness and consideration for one another as advocates.” – Jill King

Would you or someone you know would be a great fit? Share this year’s application and apply today.

Applications are due by Friday, Aug. 4, 2023.   
Selected applicants will be notified by Sept. 8.

Questions? Email Jackie Menjivar, MHA’s manager of peer and youth advocacy, at jmenjivar@mhanational.org.


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: