YMHLC member highlight: Crystal Widado

The 2022-2023 Psychological Well being America Younger Psychological Well being Leaders Council (YMHLC) represents younger leaders from throughout the U.S. who’ve created packages and initiatives that fill gaps in conventional psychological well being providers of their communities. This 12 months’s cohort is working to deal with psychological well being throughout many areas together with training, housing, foster care, habit restoration, and state-level coverage.

Over the following a number of weeks, get to know the ten wonderful people utilizing their lived expertise and youth perspective to make massive variations within the lives of these round them.

Identify: Crystal Widado  
Pronouns: they/them  
Location: Los Angeles, California  
Faculty: Glendora Excessive Faculty  
Management and different positions: Intersectional psychological well being activist and scholar journalist  
Social media: @crystalwidado on Instagram and @CWidado on Twitter

headshot of Crystal Widado  
Photograph submitted by Crystal Widado

Why did you wish to be a part of the YMHLC?

All through the previous couple of years of my very own advocacy journey, I have been searching for extra people who’re dedicated to not simply spreading consciousness, however bringing actual and sustainable change to their particular person communities. Thus, I’m honored to be part of MHA’s YMHLC cohort, which has stood out to me as a bunch of people dedicated to discovering options and mitigating the psychological well being disaster.

Inform us about your work and pursuits.

I am captivated with constructing solidarity and sustainable organizations throughout the psychological well being advocacy discipline. Prior to now few years, I’ve led a number of youth organizations comparable to Thoughts Out Loud, Every Thoughts, and local people organizations towards a extra intersectional understanding of psychological well being and taking motion to guard marginalized communities.

What’s the greatest lesson you could have discovered from different YMHLC members?

By means of my fellow YMHLC members, I’ve discovered how a lot work must be completed on each an inside and exterior stage. Whereas there may be clearly a rising psychological well being disaster on the market that must be addressed, my cohort has taught me a lot about reimagining organizing to be extra sustainable and democratic for all.

What are your psychological well being advocacy targets?

An excessive amount of of the established order revolves round addressing surface-level points in an individualistic lens and never a collective wrestle in opposition to programs of oppression. I hope to be part of the change that builds a extra sustainable, but crucial, discipline for myself and younger folks round me.

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