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Colorado Youth for a Change to join national Youth Mental Health Corps

In response to America’s youth mental health crisis, Colorado Youth for a Change and Serve Colorado are joining forces with 10 other states, the Schultz Family Foundation, Pinterest, AmeriCorps, the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration, and the Colorado Community College System to recruit, train, and deploy the nation’s first Youth Mental Health Corps to help teenagers access critical mental health resources. The new Youth Mental Health Corps is an innovative, public-private collaboration that will address the growing needs of young people while creating career pathways to address the national shortage of mental-health professionals. Corps members will be trained as navigators serving high school students.

At Colorado Youth for a Change, the Youth Mental Health Corps will be integrated into our existing Corps for a Change program. CYC members will continue to provide individualized support and resources to students, so they can boost school engagement, wellbeing, and community connections. Meanwhile, members will receive micro-credential training that can lead to an associate or bachelor’s degree in partnership with the Community College of Aurora. The monthly stipend and education award will still be provided.

The Colorado Youth Mental Health Corps seeks to address the youth mental health crisis by leveraging the power of national service. Conceived by the Schultz Family Foundation and Pinterest, the program was developed in consultation with hundreds of experts and practitioners. Both organizations will provide financial support to participating state service commissions to design and adapt the initiative to meet local needs, including providing training and credentials at no cost to Corps members. AmeriCorps, the federal agency for service and volunteerism, will provide operating support to organizations hosting members, as well as stipends and education awards to Corps members.

For more information on the Youth Mental Health Corps, visit https://servecolorado.colorado.gov/ymhc. To apply for Corps for a Change for the 2024-2025 school year, click here.

From left: John Kelly, Executive Director of Serve Colorado; Nelly Grosso, Corps for a Change member at Colorado Youth for a Change; and Mary Zanotti, Executive Director of Colorado Youth for a Change attend the official launch of the Youth Mental Health Corps in Washington, D.C.

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