This post was guest authored by Marissa Howdershelt, a fourth year student at University of California-Riverside, majoring in Public Policy with a minor in education. They are involved with New Deal for Youth Changemakers’ Healing and Well-being initiative.
The New Deal for Youth Changemakers from the Healing and Well-being subcommittee were graciously invited to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health Young Minds Matter 2021 virtual conference. This year’s conference promises an exciting lineup as it centers healing, justice, and connection for mental well-being. Our Changemakers seek to share out their personal experience with mental health, radical disability justice activism, inner-child healing work and the importance of centering self in an attempt to free our inner creatives.
Our Changemakers promise an exciting opening as they set the scene for a truly extravagant, exuberant, and transformative weekend. We are beyond honored not only to share out our own personal advocacy journeys, but also to share with the world our healing and well being demands.
Our healing and well-being demands directly correlate with the vision and theme of this conference, as we ultimately demand a systemic and cultural change in the way that folks think about mental health. We recognize the importance of the role of life experiences in shaping mental health, the validity in receiving formal and informal diagnoses, and the importance of using creative mediums such as art, music, nature, spirituality and organizing as integral to the healing process as clinical treatment.
We wish to highlight and center the importance of radical community support, love, and interdependence, all areas gravely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, we emphasize the importance of centering personhood, allow safe space for folks to be their true and full authentic selves, and embrace the ugliness that comes with chronic mental illness. May we heal in the way that is best for us!
The New Deal for Youth Changemakers are presenting in the Day One session, “A New Deal for Youth: Our Vision for Healing and Well-being” during Young Minds Matter 2021. This free event is open to all who want to virtually connect with others through art, community-building, and healing activities to strengthen and improve the mental health and well-being of youth and their families across Texas. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/YMMRegistration.