Young People and Youth Leadership By focusing on young people and youth leadership, we are creating awareness of mental health from an early stage, mobilizing youth to be leaders in the field, addressing large-scale stigma, and preventing mental health challenges before they become chronic or disabling.

Integrating into the key touch points of a young person’s life – such as early childhood development, education, family systems, and recreation – will be pivotal to improving the way we recognize and respond to mental health challenges occurring early in life. The young people and youth leadership program is a collaborative model that can be used to promote mental health or deliver care and support.

Young people are disproportionately affected by mental health issues, making early intervention critical. In practice this means significant and concerted effort to work with, and for, young people. Moving the emphasis of services ‘upstream’ towards younger people enables the potentially lifelong debilitating effects of mental health problems to be addressed early. The ultimate goal of this pillar is to contribute to global learning on priorities for young people’s mental health and the measurable leverage points that offer most potential for positive change.

Equally critical is youth leadership. The citiesRISE youth leadership program has three main components

Amplify Youth Advocacy

Convene youth leadership to develop plans and strategies for mental health.

Support Youth-led Programming

Provide seed funding and technical assistance. Connect to senior leaders to integrate efforts.

Engage Youth Networks

Leverage existing and new communication platforms where youth can share models and learnings across cities.