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Moore Equity in Mental Health Youth Summit

Grand Marshall Jay Barnett poses for a photo with participants at the Youth Summit

In response to the U.S. Surgeon General's advisory on the youth mental health crisis in the U.S. (.pdf), APA held the inaugural APA Moore Equity in Mental Health Youth Summit on July 12, 2023. Through this one-day summit, APA collaborated with the Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute to design a youth-centered mental health event focused on cultivating mental wellness among 150 young people of color in Washington, D.C.

This summit aimed to increase mental health awareness, empower youth to advocate for their own mental wellness, facilitate peer support and engagement, and introduce youth attendees to early career mental health clinicians. Given the disconcerting youth mental health statistics, this event had a critical role in creating a space for open dialogue directly with youth.

participants at the Youth Summit wait for autographed copies of Jay Barnett's book

Students heard from Jay Barnett, Grand Marshall for the APA MOORE Equity in Mental Health initiative, who described his own experiences struggling with mental health as a former athlete and a Black man.

They also participated in a peer-led workshop presented by the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health on mental health and psychosocial support.

In the final session of the day, attendees had the opportunity to learn more about creative mental health coping skills from three youth authors of the collaborative novel, “What It Cost Us: Stories of Pandemic & Protest in D.C.,” who used creative writing to process the challenging and life-changing events of 2020.

2023 youth summit participants listen to the panel on stage

The Youth Summit wouldn’t have been complete without the participation of APA’s SAMHSA Minority Fellows, and APA members who presented, participated in group discussions and on a panel to share about their experiences with psychiatry, school, and mental health.

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