December 7, 2016
Citizens’ Committee for Children’s (CCC) YouthAction Community Leadership Course (YCLC) is a youth advocacy training program for high school students from New York City. CCC is a seventy-three year old independent child advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure that every child is healthy, housed, educated, and safe.
Since 1999, YouthAction NYC has introduced aspiring young leaders to civic engagement and advocacy opportunities. During this ten-week advocacy training program, YCLC participants meet once a week after school to research and analyze youth issues, and to develop policy and budget recommendations to improve the lives of young people in New York City. This semester, the YCLC focused on teen mental health. Students surveyed approximately 100 youth to get their opinions and also visited programs and agencies that provide mental health services, conduct research, and/or work to influence public policy.
The following is a summary of the group’s findings and recommendations. YCLC participants believe that these recommendations, created by teens, are essential to the public conversation about adolescent mental health, because ultimately it will be these students and their fellow teens who will be the beneficiaries.