Advocacy & Awareness

The Role Youth and Young Adults Play in Mental Health Legislation

In 2020, the Arizona State Legislature passed Jake’s Law, a multi-faceted piece of legislation aimed at increasing access to behavioral health services (including mental healthcare) in schools, improving mental health parity in health insurance, and reevaluating the state of youth mental health in the state of Arizona. This included the establishment of an $8,000,000 fund…

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Mental Health Care Is Expensive: A Guide to Finding Affordable Services

The mission of Active Minds is centered around mobilizing youth and young adults to be the mental health change in their schools and communities. In my ten years at the organization, I have seen the power of grassroots advocacy in improving mental health culture nationwide — but I’ve also seen the toll it can take…

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Three Ways to Support Transgender People’s Mental Health During Difficult Times

As a transgender man, Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day that’s near and dear to my heart. For most transgender and gender non-conforming youth, it is one of the ways we honor our elders, peers, and history, even if we cannot come out. In 2023, we are honoring the 19 transgender and non-binary siblings…

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Your Voice is Your Power… So Start Telling Your Story

Self-advocacy is a powerful tool, especially as we navigate a world with systems that are not structured to serve us. To me, as an immigrant, queer Latina, it is important to understand all of the factors that have played into my mental well-being. Growing up in a Hispanic household where mental health was not talked…

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Commemorating and Advocating for Veterans’ Mental Health

As we approach another Veterans Day, I find myself reflecting on the commitment we owe to our military personnel and veterans. Working as the policy manager at Active Minds, the importance of mental health advocacy is prominent, especially for those who’ve served our nation. Two transformative policies that have the power to greatly support veterans’…

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Mental Health Advocacy Spotlight: Student ID Bill

Content Warning: This piece contains mentions of suicide. Getting involved in mental health advocacy in our youth is not easy, but with the emergence of bills like the Student ID Bill (a proposal for schools to print mental health hotline numbers, such as 988, on the back of student ID cards), opportunities for upcoming generations…

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How to Take Action on Vote Early Day for Mental Health

Voting forms the bedrock of our democracy, carrying substantial weight in shaping the policies and societal issues that will be addressed during campaigns and highlighted in the laws put into action in your state. In the 2023 election cycle, voters wield influence over a wide range of positions, including gubernatorial candidates (governors), state legislatures, state…

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Tips to Overcome “Coming Out” Anxiety From Someone Who Did

Three years ago, I came out as a lesbian. Spoiler alert — that is no longer the label I identify with. And that’s okay. But for a long time, I didn’t think it was okay. And that fear of “misidentifying,” of coming out and then changing my mind, of just being what I perceived as…

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How Gen Z Is Erasing Mental Health Taboos Through Conversations

I was fourteen years old when I was introduced to the space of mental health advocacy. At this time, I began training to become a hotline listener at Teen Line, a peer crisis line in Los Angeles. I was fascinated by this organization that not only served youth but actively centered their engagement. After all,…

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Behind-the-Scenes of a Mental Health Initiative for Gen Z, By Gen Z

In the face of a youth mental health crisis, the urgency for inspiring mental health change has never been more apparent. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy has sounded the alarm, highlighting that a youth mental health crisis is already brewing. Startling data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that more than…

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