May 18, 2024

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New Digital Tool Empowers Young People to Advocate for Mental Health Policy Changes

Ahead of Mental Health Action Day, this new tool provides a new resource to empower young people to advance advocacy efforts

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Evokate, a new online tool to address the growing mental health challenges facing youth and young adults, launched today to give young adults access to resources and tools to learn how to advocate for mental health policy changes in their communities.

Well Being Trust

Evokate, a new online tool to address the growing mental health challenges facing youth and young adults, launched today

Evokate was created by the National Mental Health Advisory Board, a group of young adults from across the country, aged 16-24, committed to strengthening mental health awareness and advocacy efforts. The Advisory Board was convened and supported by leading mental health advocacy groups Active Minds, Well Being Trust, and Young Invincibles. 

The development of this tool is in direct response to survey results from 400-plus young adults who, when asked what they think about mental health, reported that their top three issues of concern included racial justice, LGBTQ+ health and well-being, and access to health care. The survey also showed that a high percentage of youth and young adults did not feel adequately equipped to advocate for mental health issues in their communities. 

“We must continue to combat stigma and tear down the negative connotations of mental illnesses,” said Olivia Zhen, a member of the National Mental Health Advisory Board. Evokate gives youth and young adults the framework to utilize mental health resources to work toward increased mental health care access and equity in their communities.”

The digital tool’s name blends the concepts of ‘evoking’ and ‘advocating’, because of its purpose to evoke powerful emotions through recounting real stories and lived experiences about mental health and well-being, and because the tool is a source for existing and up-and-coming advocates who wish to bring forward their passion and skills about these issues to demand and take action toward improving them.

Organized into three main sections — Get Informed, Engage Others, and Change Minds — Evokate equips users with knowledge on how to learn, advocate and organize at the intersection of mental health and social issues for change at the local and state level. 

Trace Terrell, a student from Oregon who recently testified to Congress said, “I feel an obligation to the past version of myself who struggled so much with mental illness to help ensure no one else feels alone in their struggles. I want to ensure that everyone is informed about the mental health resources available to them so they know they are not alone.” 

Recognizing the unique mental health challenges facing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, (BIPOC), and LBGTQ+ youth, this new tool provides information on a wealth of topics, such as racial justice, and links to resources such as a directory for mental health providers focused on the LBGTQ+ community. 

Evokate resources span a variety of topics including an overview of mental health insurance coverage, strategies and solutions for destigmatizing mental health care and expanding care access for all. Users can also engage with videos, advocacy toolkits, statistics and links to related organizations. 

Explore Evokate at EvokateApp.org

More from the organizations that worked with the National Mental Health Advisory Board to develop Evokate:

Active Minds
“In my almost 20 years working in the field of mental health, one thing has always been consistent – the power to create real and lasting change starts with mobilizing and listening to young adults. They are our future, and our present, and deserve to not only have a voice in the room, but also the resources and space to bring their ideas to life,” said Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds. “The Mental Health Advisory Board is an extraordinary group of young adults who are working to make a tangible difference in the way that our country talks about, treats, and funds mental health. I’m honored that Active Minds has been able to work alongside these inspiring leaders to help them develop Evokate to help drive real innovation in the field.”

Well Being Trust
“As we work to create mental health resources to support young adults, we must always ensure that they not only have a seat at the table, but they are actively engaged in every stage, including leading. From the first day, these inspiring young adults worked side-by-side to develop Evokate, which will equip them with skills to advocate for the mental health and social issues that are important to them.” –  Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, president, Well Being Trust

Young Invincibles
“We are so proud to be a part of launching Evokate, most of all because it’s a tool that is created by and for young people. We know that young people know their own lives and their own needs best and Evokate represents all these things: a tool that meets young people where they are and allows them to take action across all the issues that matter to them.” – Kristin McGuire, Executive Director of Young Invincibles

About Well Being Trust:
Well Being Trust is an impact philanthropy dedicated to advancing the mental, social, and spiritual health of the United States.

We believe the health of our mind is inseparable from the health of our body and spirit. Our goal is to save lives from deaths of despair and to increase equitable well-being for all.  We are committed to improving systems of care, coverage, and community conditions as essential to addressing the most critical mental health challenges facing America.

For more information, visit wellbeingtrust.org and follow us onTwitter, @WellBeingTrust

About Active Minds
Active Minds is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization promoting mental health awareness and education for young adults. Active Minds has a presence at more than 1,000 campuses, schools, communities, and workplaces nationwide, and is powered by a robust Chapter Network, the nationally acclaimed Send Silence Packing® exhibit, inspiring Active Minds Speakers, and our tailored Active Minds @Work initiative. The organization is dedicated to ending the silence and changing the culture around mental health for everyone. To learn more, visit www.activeminds.org

About Young Invincibles
Young Invincibles is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to engage young adults ages 18 to 34 in the political process and expand economic opportunity for our generation. Founded by and for young adults in the summer of 2009 during the debate over health care reform, YI has quickly grown into a leading voice for young people on the broader spectrum of economic justice, with a focus in the issue areas of health care, higher education, and economic security. The organization has achieved major successes in areas ranging from the regulation of college health plans to Pell grants, and has successfully engaged hundreds of thousands of young adults online, through a network of over 100 partner organizations. https://younginvincibles.org/ 

Active Minds

Young Invincibles

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SOURCE Well Being Trust