Youth Leadership


Youth Voice Promotes Mental Health

The Office of Children's Mental Health is putting a greater emphasis on youth leadership because it activates the very skills that promote and ​protect mental health:​

  • Cultivates decision making skills and persistence to achieve goals
  • Develops social skills, interpersonal skills, social competence and social capital
  • Provides a sense of belonging, connection alongside a sense of agency and autonomy



In order to meaningfully engage and empower youth leaders, there must be genuine partnerships between young people and supportive adults in a safe and respectful environment. Ample opportunities to plan and make decisions, as well as shape policy and practice, are also key components to youth leadership. 




Youth Listening Session Recommendations for Action

Wisconsin youth from across the state identified concerns regarding youth mental health in a series of OCMH Youth Listening Sessions. The insights from the sessions informed the Youth Listening Session Recommendations for Action.

The report​ offers 11 recommendations for organizations and leaders to implement​. Recommendations include:

    • ​Create youth leadership opportunities in school as well as community organizations.
    • Connect mental health to other activities and curriculum.