There is enormous value in the meaningful engagement of youth and young adults in the design, development, and implementation of programs or services intended for them.
- What does meaningful engagement look like?
- What strategies can you use within your own organization to enhance the value of programs and services designed for youth and young adults?
The October 2022 IIMHL and IIDL Leadership Exchange prioritized the meaningful engagement in and focus on youth and young adults. View the recording of this 90-minute dialogue to learn strategies and lessons learned directly from young leaders involved in planning and implementing the event.
- SAMHSA Youth Engagement Guidance
- CWS Guide to Youth Engagement
- Youth MOVE (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience)
- SAMHSA Peer to Peer Youth TA Center
- IIMHL 2022 Leadership Exchange
- FRAYME Canada
Gary Blau, PhD., is a licensed clinical psychologist who serves as the Senior Advisor for Children, Youth and Families at the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He rejoins SAMHSA after spending over fifteen years as the Chief of the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch where he provided national leadership for child, adolescent, and young adult mental health, and helped created “systems of care” across the United States. Dr. Blau is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Connecticut Governor’s Service Award, the Phoebe Bennet Award for outstanding contribution to children’s mental health in Connecticut, and the Making a Difference Award presented by Connecticut’s Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. He was also proud that upon the occasion of his leaving Connecticut, the Governor proclaimed December 12, 2003, as ‘Dr. Gary Blau Day.”
Micaela Harley is a strategic change maker in the Youth Mental Health and Substance Use System, with a focus on the inclusion of lived and living expertise within this work. Micaela’s passion for change in this area began in her early teen years, stemming from her own personal experiences as both a direct service user and a youth providing caregiving support to a loved one who was struggling. Utilizing these experiences, along with her professional and educational knowledge, she has advised and implemented a variety of youth mental health and substance use projects within local, national and international contexts. At Frayme, Micaela is the Senior Engagement and Knowledge Equity Lead, working strategically to ensure the expertise of youth, caregiver and advocates are embedded through the work being done internal to Frayme and externally within the system. Micaela holds a Bachelor of Social Work with minors in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Mental Health degree, as well as a Masters of Applied Health Sciences degree.
Katlyn Kotila is a passionate public speaker and community leader from Sudbury, Ontario. At the age of 14 years old, she lost a close friend to suicide, a moment that would go on to change her life forever. Since then, she has spent her career advocating for better mental health services among young people, and eliminating barriers to access for 2SLGBTQ+ and Northern communities. As a public speaker she delivers a moving message, speaking openly about her experiences as a suicide-loss survivor and member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to help eliminate stigma and empower her audiences to live life authentically. Katlyn is also Co-Founder of the Northern Ontario Pride Connection, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting and empowering the 2SLGBTQ+ community across Northern Ontario.
Kathy Langlois is the North America Regional Lead for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL), where she works to provide opportunities for leadership development and rapid knowledge exchange. Kathy is passionate about improving mental health, substance use, suicide prevention and disability outcomes, including working in partnership with Indigenous peoples. Kathy has a background of 35 years experience at the executive level in public service, in the federal and provincial governments in Canada. Since 2014, she has been consulting on mental health, addictions, and disability leadership and policy, including internationally.
Marshall Morrisseau is a First Nations, Metis advocate. Currently residing in Brandon Manitoba on Treaty 2 Territory. Marshall recently graduated with an Honours Degree in Native Studies and Political Science; they are now pursuing a law degree. Marshall is involved with community organizations such as Brandon Bear Clan Patrol where he
coordinated a youth mock patrol. Marshall also takes part in the We Matter Campaign as a National Ambassador of Hope, delivering messages of hope, culture, and strength for Indigenous youth across Canada. In the beginning of 2020, Marshall attended the United Nations Drug and Crime Commission as a Youth Delegate. He now is involved with the UNODC’s International Youth Initiative to help develop and deliver drug prevention strategies. Marshall is currently a facilitator at the Sexual Educational Resource Center of Manitoba and continues to work on life promotion projects with Thunderbird Partnership Foundation.
Dr. Brian Sims is the Senior Medical Advisor for The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Dr. Sims is a Psychiatrist, working in the behavioral health field for nearly 4 decades. He has worked with diverse populations, including individuals, groups; Military; School Settings; Corrections; Inpatient and outpatient hospital settings; BIPOC, Tribal Nations and LGBTQ, all promoting trauma informed system transformation, healing and recovery. He is passionate about the delivery of culturally responsive practices to all he encounters, including training, teaching and direct care to individuals and groups both nationally and internationally. His work in health equity and disparities, with emphasis on marginalized communities and communities of color have been his focus of attention for the past 15 years, in his present role of Senior Medical Advisor with NASMHPD. His emphasis centers on Connection, Collaboration with subsequent Empowerment.
Darien Todd is a Kennesaw State University alumnus. Darien majored in public speaking with the goal of becoming an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Inclusive Postsecondary Education programs in Georgia. Darien now works at the Center for Leadership in Disability, at Georgia State University, as the Community Advocate Specialist. Darien is also a Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program alumni and an AUCD Leadership Academy alumni, a trainer for the My Voice, My Participation, My Board program, and a Youth Voice Youth Choice Youth Ambassador of Georgia.