Youth & Caregiver Leadership Council
Since 2019 our campaign has worked to serve and advocate for all children, youth, and families in New York State with unmet behavioral health care needs.
We mobilize providers and communities to improve our state’s behavioral health system that is under-resourced and unable to respond to the mental health crisis facing New York’s children and youth.
For too long youth and families most impacted by this crisis have not had a seat at the table where key decisions impacting their lives are made. Holding ourselves accountable to values on how we should practice advocacy, our campaign has dedicated itself to ensuring we move forward with an approach towards advocacy that is community-led and driven.
By elevating youth and caregivers as leaders and campions in our advocacy, we believe New York can fulfill its obligation to ensuring New York children and families thrive.
About Our Council
The Healthy Minds Healthy Kids Council is our foundation for building a intergenerational community-driven advocacy coalition with residents of New York who have experience with mental/behavioral health issues, are familiar with the needs of children and youth, and are passionate advocates for ensuring our communities thrive.
Our goal is to create a powerful movement of youth, parents, and caregivers who are fighting to improve access to mental and behavioral health support for all children and youth in New York State.
Community Voice Matters
State leaders need to hear from youth and families about their experiences and challenges they face – advocating on behalf of themselves, their loved ones, and communities. By mobilizing and leading with community advocates, we challenge state leaders to ensure supports for children and youth are enough so they grow, develop, and thrive. We believe youth and family directed advocacy will drive policy and budget recommendations to state leaders that lead to long lasting, permanent change.
Hear From Members of Our Council
Our Rally for Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids mobilizes advocates and champions, like you, to be a part of our movement to end New York’s mental and behavioral health crisis.
Hear members of our council call on Governor Hochul and the State Legislature to ensure that state budget investments prioritize children, youth and families amid decades of chronic disinvestment in the children’s behavioral health system.
You can support our campaign by urging your state leaders to ensure all children in New York can access the behavioral health supports they need.
Meet The Council
New York, NY
New York, NY
Hudson Falls, NY
Forest Hills, NY
South Setauket, NY
North Babylon, NY
Valentina Medina Monje
Raleighn D. Williams
Wappinger Falls, NY
Our Council Advisors
Laura Gullekson Westfall
Port Jervis, NY
North Babylon, NY
Special Thanks To Our Supporting Organizations
Our Community Leadership Council is grateful for the support of the over fifteen organizations a part of the Campaign for Health Minds, Healthy Kids as well as several dozen partner organizations through New York State who supported the development of this initiative, hosted our HMHK Community Speakout Launch Event in August 2022, and brought their passion to making our group a reality.
We also would like to recognize the organizations and staff of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Families Together in New York State, and the New York State Coalition for Children’s Behavior Health who serve as the backbone staff supporting our council.
Associate Executive Director for Policy and Advocacy
Carlos F. Rosales
Senior Community Outreach & Engagement Associate
Director for Public Policy
Public Policy & AMPLIFY-NY Coordinator