YOUTH ADVOCACY NETWORK
JHF leads a network of teens and youth-serving partner organizations to mobilize the youth voice to improve teen mental health services and supports. Initiated on Election Day in November 2018, the PA Youth Advocacy Network seeks to provide skills building and advocacy opportunities for teens who have an interest in mental health. Youth advocates, connected as a powerful network for change across the Commonwealth, are committed to:
- Educating teachers and students in mental health
- Reducing disparities in mental health
- Promoting suicide prevention and awareness
- Creating safe and inclusive school environments
- Addressing mental health as part of health
From a New Year’s post-card campaign urging policy and decision-makers to commit to improved teen mental health to a trip to Harrisburg for Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in May 2019, teens have participated in a range of advocacy opportunities to inform our community’s response to the public health concern for teen mental health.
On March 3, 2020, Jewish Healthcare Foundation facilitated a youth advocacy workshop at the Disability and Mental Health Summit hosted by Representative Dan Miller for over 140 students from Allegheny, Beaver, and Fayette Counties. JHF partnered with 18 youth leaders and facilitators and six organizational partners to design and implement the workshop. Planning partners included Stand Together, the Beaver County Youth Ambassadors Program, Allegheny Health Network's CHILL Project, A+ Schools TeenBloc, and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh Second Floor.
Youth advocate and Founder of Acknowledging Mental Health in Our Teens Together (AMOTT), Ayala Rosenthal, authored a Youth Advocacy Toolkit that is accessible here.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the PA Youth Advocacy Network for teen mental health, please contact Deborah Murdoch.
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