Thank You Youth MOVErs!

In celebration of the #SeasonOfSelfCare, I’ve decided to start my post off by talking about one of my favorite things to do for self-care. This year more than ever I’ve found that I’ve spent a great deal of my free time looking for inspiration that helps to ground me and guide me in my work and in my day to day life. Sometimes this means waking up at 4am to drive to New Hampshire’s Seacoast so I can watch the sunrise on the beach and other times it means taking my nieces on an unplanned adventure just because. But, since I frequently find myself short on free time, my search for inspiration becomes more limited and usually entails scrolling through social media platforms to find memes with pretty pictures and uplifting quotes. This self-care practice of mine quickly integrated itself into my workflow. That being said, you can imagine my excitement at being tasked with managing the Youth M.O.V.E. National Facebook page so that I can share these little tidbits of wisdom and inspiration with you all instead of keeping them all to myself. Yes - I am the Youth M.O.V.E. National staff member working behind the scenes to spam your newsfeeds with positivity, and, in full disclosure, if it was up to me, I’d be posting them on our page 6-7 times a day!

Anyhow, the greater purpose of me telling you about my hobby turned passion was to express to you that for Youth M.O.V.E. National team, YOU are our daily inspiration. Being able to hear about and see all of the outstanding work that you are doing in your communities with and for young people all around the United States is what moves us forward as individuals and as an organization.  We are constantly amazed by the power and accomplishments that have been achieved by individual young people who are engaged in our Chapter Network and by the collective youth voice of Youth M.O.V.E. Chapter Network nationwide.

I would like to take this time to celebrate and thank the amazing Youth M.O.V.E. Chapter Network for making this MOVEment rock all year long - you’ve had a busy year advocating for systems change, amplifying the youth voice, providing formal and informal peer support, participating in countless conferences, webinars, trainings, Chapter Chats, planning weekly programming activities for Chapter members, holding awareness and stigma-busting events in your communities, empowering more than 10,000 youth and young adults across the nation, and really helping us at Youth M.O.V.E. National to dream big about the future of the youth MOVEment! The work that you do within your Chapters and communities amazes and inspires us every day. We are truly grateful for your passion, energy, and dedication to this work. Join us in celebrating YOU and all of the other #RockStars in our Chapter Network; you are the true drivers of the youth MOVEment and, without each and every one of you, our work would not be possible.


Ps. Here is my attempt to make a meme out of an inspirational message that I wanted to share with you all today because YOU are living proof that it is true: “You’re never too young to change the world!”


Join Youth M.O.V.E. National in Text Talk Act

Every day is a day to talk about mental health. But do we?  Having candid dialogue about mental health isn't easy.  Just think about how you might bring the topic up in conversation... 

See, it's easier not to say anything!  Which is one reason Youth M.O.V.E. National is so excited to support a national dialogue for youth via text message on November 20!  We invite each of you to join our Chapter Network and individuals across the country for a #mentalhealth conversation on the 20th.  It's easy to join in!

Here’s a little about Text, Talk, Act:

Text, Talk, Act uses text messaging to facilitate a face-to-face conversation on mental health. Participants gather in small groups (3-4 people) with one cell phone per group. They text START to the number 89800 to receive a series of text messages that guides their group through a conversation on mental health: why it is important, how to care for it, and how to help a friend in need. The text messages include videos, social media interactions, polling questions and discussion questions.

Getting youth to talk about mental health is an especially important conversation, given that ¾ of all mental health problems begin between the ages of 14 and 24.  Using this innovative approach), thousands of young people in all 50 states have gathered in small groups (in dorm rooms, kitchens, cafes, classrooms, and more) to participate in this growing movement. 

Bring Text Talk Act to your youth group, community meeting, school classroom or elsewhere on November 20. And please, help us spread the word!

To learn more about Text, Talk, Act, go to:

#InspireWellness: Finding Balance

I have always been a person who struggles to find balance between all the things I love to do and all the things I have to do.  As I have gotten older I find myself in a place of reflection looking back on all the things that have brought me joy before I became a career oriented adult and the fun spirited, athletic, creative person I was in high school. Somewhere during my personal transition into adulthood I have forgotten how to have FUN!  As a sister, a daughter, advocate, a friend, a survivor and someone who lives with a variety of mental health challenges it can be overwhelming to balance all those roles and mange my own wellness. Often I am so busy with work, helping others and family by the end of the day I have very little energy to give to myself let alone financing time to add fun back into my life.  

I have great people around me who always remind me to disconnect, take vacation and make myself a priority again. So over the last year I have been doing exactly that, finding ways to incorporate more balance into my life.  Balance for me means that I have a plan to manage my work responsibilities, with my family responsibilities, and find ways to nurture my physical and emotional health while adding in more FUN. So in celebration of wellness month I wanted to share with you some tips that have worked well for me over the last year and let you know what I have been up for FUN!

What has worked well for me at work and with my family is being more confident in setting boundaries around what I can do and what I can’t do within the number of hours in a day.  I have found having open communication with those around me has made a huge difference elevating my anxiety and stress. This communication has helped open dialogue to give me more of a voice in how my day and to do list is structured.   

To maintain my physical and emotional health I have made changes in my daily routine that consist of eating healthy, reducing my caffeine intake and making sure I find time to get outside and exercise daily. Focusing more on my physical health has done great things for my energy levels and really helped with my depression.

What has been most exciting for me over the last year is getting reconnected with my creative side, finding hobbies and challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone.  So over the last year I have set goals for myself to train for a 5k, picked up hiking (which is not easy for someone with a fear of heights) and I got back into my creative space and now upscale old flea market finds!  

Having the ability to regain control of how my day, week and weekends are structured and not feeling selfish for taking the time I need to feel whole has been a hard journey. I have not fully mastered it yet but I have come a long way over the last year. I am thankful for my co- workers, families and friends who often remind me to take time I need, encourage and celebrate with me my new found hobbies.  This has made the world of difference for me in maintaining a FUN outlook on wellness which makes is so much easier to maintain.


RockStar Award Nominations Now Open for 2015


Decorah– (September 16, 2015) – It’s that time of year again; Youth Motivating Other through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is celebrating the 5th Annual RockStar Awards! This prestigious award honors individuals and organizations who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of youth, services and systems that support positive growth and development of young people who have lived experience in various child-serving systems including, but not limited to, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. On your mark, get set go! NOMINATIONS are OPEN until October 15th!!!  National RockStars will be announced during the 26th Annual National Federation of Families Conference in Washington, DC. Submit your nomination today by visiting 2015 RockStar Nomination Form. For more information visit our website at


Latest Social Updates

We're only seven days away. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday. Next Tuesday, consider supporting Youth MOVE National. Facebook is matching all charitable donations across its network on Nov. 28. Each and every youth deserves the support needed to live a resilient life. With your support, we get closer every day.
We're only 7 days away. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday. Next Tuesday, consider supporting Youth MOVE Na…
Discuss mental health needs of youth & families experiencing homelessness. Watch #KSOCTV LIVE on 11/30 at 2 pm EST…
SAMHSA’s upcoming KSOC-TV webisode is an opportunity to learn more about evidence-based strategies for addressing the mental health needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. Be sure to watch and join the live Q&A on Nov. 30!
#TBT to when the youth killed it during their plenary at #FFCMH17 this weekend. 🙌
RT @NAMICommunicate: Tell Congress that #taxreform shouldn’t harm people with mental illness. #Act4MentalHealth htt…
Students of Meade High School told Richard Baum, the acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy,…
Students of Meade High School told Richard Baum, the acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, that if he wanted to address youth drug use, then youth had to be involved in the message development. 👏
A group of Anne Arundel County high school students spoke with Richard Baum, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy,
Our fearless executive director, Johanna Bergan, presenting in D.C. today on resilient and recovery-oriented systems. 🙌
Today at 3pm ET is the first pre-application webinar for Dare to Dream America. Go to to re…
That feeling when a table was reserved for you. 👐 (Shout out to @nffcmh for helping make the RockStar Awards presentation run smoothly!) #ffcmh17
Tomorrow is the first of two pre-application webinars for Dare to Dream America. #Youth can receive $1,250 or $2,50…
Tomorrow is the first of two pre-application webinars for Dare to Dream America. #Youth can receive $1,250 or $2,500 for a #MentalHealth awareness project. Learn more at #grants
Will Voss, the Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year RockStar award winner, posing with the man himself Gary Blau at #FFCMH17!
The Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year RockStar winner, Will Voss, with none other than @GaryBlauPhD at…
Youth MOVE Idaho told us they were so surprised by winning the Youth MOVE Chapter of the Year award, they forgot to…
Youth MOVE Idaho accepting their Youth MOVE Chapter of the Year award at the #FFCMH17 conference! #rockstars
We had the best time at #FFCMH17. We learned, met new people, were inspired, and, as always, had tons of fun. We can't wait to share even more pictures in the coming days. Till the next one!
We had the best time at #FFCMH17—learning, meeting new ppl, being inspired, and as always having fun. Can’t wait to share more pics & vids!
When the conference is in Orlando. #FFCMH17
When the conference is in Orlando. #FFCMH17
And the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity Presented by Youth MOVE National at 2017's RockStar Awards goes to… Jacob Griffin! For the past two years, Jacob has focused his efforts on increasing supports for college students in need of counseling and psychological services on campuses by increasing awareness of these issues with university trustees, student affairs administrators, politicians, and campus communities. He formed a task force, and later an independent 501(c)3, dedicated on integrating research and current college trends with best practices. This resulted in increased student success despite adversity. According to his peers, Jacob has served as an inspiration for anyone with whom he engages and is an exemplary role model for youth advocates. Congratulations Jacob, your hard work proves you are a RockStar! #rockstars
The @RWJF Award for Health Equity Presented at #RockStars is awarded to Jacob Griffin! Jacob has focused on increas…
The Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year RockStar award is presented to… Will Voss! According to his peers, Wi…
And the Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year RockStar Award goes to… Will Voss! According to his peers, Will travels across the state to engage with youth face-to-face and to ensure agencies are building capacity for authentic youth engagement. He supports Healthy Transitions staff in becoming more youth-driven through workshops and trainings. And he organizes statewide Young Adult Leadership Council meetings. Will, you are a RockStar! Congratulations! #rockstars
The #RockStars Marlene Materese Advocate for Youth of the Year is awarded to… Joshua Sprunger! According to Indiana…
The Tricialouise Gurley-Millard Youth Advocate of the Year RockStar Award is presented to… Jack Storti! Jack serves…
The recipient of the #RockStars Tricialouise Gurley-Millard Youth Advocate of the Year award is… Jack Storti! Congratulations, Jack. You are definitely a RockStar! Jack serves as the Chair for the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council in Colorado, a youth council that guides and informs the work of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council (JJDP). The Emerging Leaders Council has guided the JJDP in LGBTQ inclusiveness through toolkits and trainings. They’ve designed youth programs and guide the full membership of the JJDP. Their work has been presented at state-level conferences and has increased the awareness of the juvenile justice system, and the mental health and child welfare systems.
The RockStar Organization of the Year is… @NashLaunchPad! In 2014, the LGBTQ and ally community of Nashville collab…
2017's RockStar Organization of the Year is… Launch Pad! On any given night in Nashville, more than 300 youth are without permanent housing. Approximately 40% of these 300 youth identify as LGBTQ, placing them at greater physical and emotional risk than their straight and cisgender peers. In 2014, the LGBTQ and ally community of Nashville collaborated to create Launchpad, an initiative dedicated to providing safe sleeping shelters for youth in Nashville.
The Youth MOVE Chapter of the year is… @IdahoYouthMOVE!!! Youth MOVE Idaho reaches more than half the state, provid…
The Youth MOVE Chapter of the Year is… Youth M.O.V.E Idaho!!! #RockStars Youth MOVE Idaho serves youth in more than half the state, providing both a safe space for young people to convene and offer support as well as providing workshops and leadership trainings on how to share stories of lived experience. Congratulations!
We're about to announce the winners of this year's #RockStar Awards! Please stand by.
We're about to announce this year's winners of the RockStar Awards at the FFCMH conference in Orlando, FL. Stand by. The RockStar Awards recognizes individuals and organizations who've made an outstanding contribution toward improving the lives of youth and improving youth-serving systems. They are designed as a way for us to say a huge thank you to the giants who’ve come before us, to say thank you to the amazing supportive adults who have helped us, and to celebrate the youth advocates of today.
We’re at the #FFCMH17 conference! Check out our Instagram story for more.
Happy #ElectionDay! Do you have an election to vote in today? Check your local gov’t site to find out. And get out the vote! 🗳✔️
Without youth voice there can be no youth justice.
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