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November 3, 2021

A Call to Action for Youth Leaders: Get Involved in the First-Ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum

The need for action on declining adolescent mental health is well documented.

Two weeks ago, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Children’s Hospital Association declared a national emergency for child and adolescent mental health. This issue is well past the “awareness” phase. That’s why we’re proud to join other leading non-profits, advocates, and experts – all of whom understand the urgency of this issue – in hosting MTV Entertainment Group’s just-announced Mental Health Youth Action Forum in coordination with the Biden-Harris Administration.

This initiative, taking place in early 2022, will put young people at the center of the solution and empower them to directly support positive mental health and well-being for themselves and their peers.

How can I get involved?

If you know of a youth leader (18 years or older) who may be interested in participating in this event, please encourage them to submit an applicationby November 15, 2021.

Why participate?

We encourage young leaders to apply for the Mental Health Youth Action Forum, which aligns closely with principles that we at The Upswing Fund value:

1. It is designed for, and by, young people. Similarly, 99% of our grant recipients engage their youth in planning and evaluating their programming. We believe that youth have the answers, and if given the right tools and supports, will create relevant, meaningful, and long-lasting solutions.

2.        It recognizes that stories are meaningful. Stories move people to action in ways that statistics can’t. Our recent report shared insights on the importance of providing culturally responsive care in our partners’ own words and examples.

3.        It reflects a bias towards action. The increasing need for adolescent mental health care requires increased awareness, but not at the expense of moving quickly to action. Over the course of the past 18 months, our north star has always been ensuring that funds reach grant recipients as quickly as possible. In turn, grant recipients have converted those resources into expanded services including no-cost therapy sessions, mobile crisis response, care kits, and more.

We look forward to working together with our partners on this Forum!

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