Children's Hospital Colorado
Pediatric Mental Health Institute
Pediatric Mental Health Institute
  • Additional Information:

    Phone numbers for specific programs: • Eating Disorder Program: 720-777-6452 • Medical Day Treatment Program: 720-777-2900 • Neuropsychiatric Special Care Program: 720-777-3191 • Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program: 720-777-4360 • Psychiatric Day Treatment Program & School Refusal Program: 720-777-7794

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The Youth Action Board at Children’s Hospital Colorado

The Children’s Colorado Pediatric Mental Health Institute (PMHI) Youth Action Board (YAB) consists of up to 15 youth from across the Denver metro area who are interested in raising awareness about and de-stigmatizing mental health issues.

The YAB was created as part of an effort to 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 projects and materials to improve patient care
  2. Raise the awareness of child and adolescent mental health issues in the communities the hospital serves by executing 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 26 total members representing 18 schools, in eight school districts. The group is led by Tony Edelblute, LPC, MT-BC, a music therapist in the hospital’s Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program and Heather Kennedy, a youth leadership expert.

 The 2015-2016 YAB project, called “Mental Health is ALL Our Stories,” utilized short, poignant narratives created by using only six words. Examples included “Broken legs…what about broken brains?” and “Allergy medication: OK. Psychiatric medication: Taboo.” Other past YAB projects have included a traveling photo exhibit titled “Illuminate the Darkness” and a video called “The LISTEN Project.”

Youth Action Board Projects

The 2016-2017 YAB will work side-by-side with staff from the PMHI to plan and implement a large social action project to serve as a conversation starter about how mental health is a human issue that begins with dialogue, connectedness, authenticity and compassion.

In addition, all YAB members are offered the opportunity to participate in Youth Mental Health First Aid training, in which they learn how to help peers in crisis or who may be experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge.

Apply to join next year’s Youth Action Board

We’re currently looking for new YAB members for the 2016-2017 term! To qualify for the YAB, applicants must be:

  • A young person ages 15-18
  • Interested in/passionate about youth mental health
  • Able to get to and from Children’s Hospital Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Available on Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. starting Oct. 4, 2016
  • Interested in making change

Interested in joining YAB? Please complete and return this application
Applications are being accepted through Friday, Sep. 16, 2016. 


"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


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