Children's Hospital Colorado

Youth Action Board: Mental Health Advocacy Projects

A close-up of two kids smiling and touching their foreheads and noses to each other.

The Children’s Hospital Colorado Pediatric Mental Health Institute (PMHI) Youth Action Board (YAB) consists of up to 18 kids and teens from across the Denver metro area, and occasionally beyond, who are interested in raising awareness about and de-stigmatizing mental health issues.

The YAB was created to help engage the community and stakeholders in improving mental health services. Specifically, the goals of YAB are to:

  1. Advise Children’s Colorado’s PMHI faculty and staff on ways to better care for kids and teens with mental health issues
  2. Raise the awareness of child and adolescent mental health issues in the communities the hospital serves by completing a project each year that will support social change
  3. Develop the leadership and advocacy skills of each youth board member

Since its inception in 2013, the YAB has had more than 75 members representing more than 30 schools, in numerous school districts. Amy Engleman, PhD, of Intentional Inquiry, and Laura Anthony, PhD, lead this group.

What are the criteria for being on the Youth Action Board?

The Youth Action Board has only two requirements for applicants:

  • Be of high school age
  • Have a passion and interest in improving youth mental wellness

How do I apply to be on the Youth Action Board?

All high school students from Denver and the surrounding metro area are welcome to apply. At the start of the school year, we do extensive outreach through our mental health providers, community partners and schools to encourage teens to apply. The application process consists of a series of short essays that current and former YAB members review.

For more information about the application process, please call 720-777-6200.

Youth Action Board mental health projects


"I've learned stuff about myself and I know that I'm very creative and that I'm a whole lot stronger than I thought I was. If I need to speak out, then I know how to and I know how to make a difference" 

- Kelsey, YAB member from 2014-2016