The Active Minds Mental Health Advocacy Academy is the only leadership development and mental health advocacy academy that empowers Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) high school students to enact change in their schools, communities, and states. The Academy will prepare high school students for lifelong engagement on advocacy, grassroots organizing, and political engagement around mental health. 

The Mental Health Advocacy Academy is a unique, paid leadership program taking place from July 24-July 28, 2023. It is intended to ensure that high school students have tools and resources to develop mental health advocacy campaigns that will transform change in school, community, and state culture and increase mental health resources. Academy members will have the opportunity to develop a mental health campaign that contributes to the cutting-edge field of mental health policy advocacy.

Through the Active Minds Mental Health Advocacy Academy, students will have the opportunity to learn leadership through connection and collaboration with student changemakers across the country. By the end of this week, students will walk away with ideas and intentions to reshape their school and local communities!

Applications for the 2023 Active Minds Mental Health Academy are CLOSED. Thank you for your interest and keep your eyes open for next year’s application in early 2024!

Academy FAQ’s

Mental health advocacy is a growing trend where people who are passionate about mental health are contributing to changing the conversation about mental health through advocating for policies and awareness campaigns. Youth and young adults have made clear that the most pressing mental health-related issues include addressing racial justice, having  equitable access to culturally responsive mental health care, advocating for  youth-centered mental health school board, local, and state policies , and schools having LGBTQ+ inclusive mental health and sexual health curriculum.  “Who are Academy participants?: You are a rising 9th-12th grade student who identifies as LGBTQ+, BIPOC, or the intersection of both. You have an interest in mental health awareness and advocacy, and are eager to become a change maker in your school and community.
During your time in the Mental Health Advocacy Academy, you will have the opportunity to build your foundational knowledge of mental health advocacy, policy, education, awareness and equity. You will learn from people making changes across the country, as well as get to know other student leaders who have been successful mental health champions and how they would like to ignite change in their schools and communities.
The Academy will take place virtually starting July 24 and run through July 28, 2023. We intend for this week to be one of the most informative and exciting weeks of your summer, as you will grow in your knowledge of how to have a profound impact in the mental health advocacy space. There will also be an opportunity to stay connected to your Academy peers and Active Minds staff throughout the following school year.
It is completely free to apply to the Academy. Students will receive a stipend upon completion of the Academy, required documents, and pre- and post- program evaluations.
Yes, Active Minds has partnered with organizations like The Trevor Project, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), GENUp, Inseperable/Hopeful Futures Campaign, Young Invincibles, and state elected officials to share important expertise about mental health advocacy and provide examples of successful mental health advocacy campaigns.
The Active Minds Mental Health Advocacy Academy was great! …They taught me a whole lot and the speakers taught me a whole lot as well. I want to join the Active Minds Mental Health Advocacy Academy again, in the future! As well as have cousins join too!

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Hear from Past Academy Participants About Their Experience

Overall, I enjoyed the entire experience with Active Minds and I will continue to work on my mental health campaign. I learned many things throughout the program and now have many contacts when in need of guidance or help with mental health and even other things. This program is helping me build connections and helps me better educate myself.