#metoo- Supporting LGBTQ Youth

#metoo has been trending worldwide amidst the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case.

Youth within the LGBTQ community are at increased risk of violence, which includes physical/sexual assault, bullying, teasing and harassment. This exposure can have negative effects on their education and mental health which can result into poor school performance, absenteeism and risk for depression, suicide and sexual behaviors.

For California resources, check out Each Mind Matters! They have created a brochure specifically for youth! See link below.

For service provides, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, has created an information sheet for mental health professionals working with LGBTQ youth, addresses common myths and stereotypes, providing counseling and how to create an inclusive environment.

For national help lines:

LGBTQ National Youth Talk Line- 1800246PRIDE

Trans Life Line-18775658860

National Prevention Lifeline- 18002738255

Join the cause and get involved with the CAYEN!

We are seeking youth advocates to join our advocacy efforts. We have two ways you can get involved!

CAYEN Youth Board
Seeking new members to join our all Transition Age Youth (TAY) Board. CAYEN brings the youth voice into mental health policy discussions and activities. We focus on prevention and early intervention, juvenile justice and general youth mental wellness. This is a great opportunity for TAY interested in mental health programs, systems and policy. Linked is the CAYEN Board Expectations document which lists member responsibilities. Interested youth should review this document and follow up to request a formal application.

CAYEN Action Network
Join the CAYEN Action Network to stay up-to-date on all things CAYEN including state-level policies and legislation impacting TAY, upcoming events such as conference/trainings and advocacy activities. It’s a quick to sign up! Please feel free to forward to those you feel would be interested in TAY advocacy.

What’s in it for TAY?

  • Make a difference!
  • Meet other young people working in community (within local area and statewide!)
  • Impact policy and systemic changes throughout California
  • Opportunities for leadership development

To learn more, please visit the CAYEN website and don’t forget to check out our informational video! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to Kathleen Casela, Program Director at kcasela@mhac.org.

*Please feel free to forward this to young people who you feel would be interested.*



DACA Renewal Resources

The last day to apply for DACA renewal is 10/5/2017

Below are resources that can help with any questions you may have in completing your DACA renewal application, organizations that can help with the application process and legal aid assistance if your application was denied or you have a special case. If you are seeking assistance within your local area, we can identify an organization to help you. Please send all inquiries to Kathleen Casela at kcasela@mhac.org

Understanding the DACA renewal and application process:



Statewide DACA workshops to help you complete your application:

https://ready-california.org/events-calendar (Comprehensive Statewide List)

http://www.cdss.ca.gov/Benefits-Services/More-Services/Immigration-Services/Immigration-Services-Contractors (Comprehensive Statewide List)

If your application was declined and you need legal help, these organizations can help:




*Note: All of these resources are free of charge.

Click here to download the PDF version. 


Mental Health Awareness Week 10/1-7/2017


Mental Health Awareness Week is from October 1-7. Advocates from across the nation come together and stand up to mental health stigma and highlight the importance of speaking out in support! Our program partners from Each Mind Matters has developed great resources you can utilize within your community to help raise awareness.

Find even more resources at the new Each Mind Matters Resource Center

Seeking Youth Advocates to Join Our CAYEN BOARD!


The California Youth Empowerment Network (CAYEN), created in order to develop, improve, and strengthen the voice of TAY in local and state-level policy is seeking passionate Youth Advocates to join us. We will be developing our policy priorities within the next couple of months and turning to our community to help us in identifying new members to help us reach our goals and vision.

Our CAYEN Board is made up of youth and young adults, ranging in age from 16 to 26, who have all been touched in some way by the mental health, juvenile justice, or foster care systems. Our Board Members are proven and aspiring leaders who are committed to developing, improving, and strengthening the voice of TAY. Many members work or volunteer in the mental health field as Peer Mentors or Youth Advocates, and represent a variety of counties throughout the state, giving them a unique perspective on the issues affecting their local communities. Through CAYEN, our board member receive  opportunities for leadership, and the support, training, and skills necessary to bring their voices and perspectives to policy and program discussions For more information, please visit  our “About Section” for full details.

If you are interested or know a young person who would be interested, please email Kathleen Casela at kcasela@mhac.org for an application. We look forward to hearing from you!

TAY Activities for Suicide Prevention Awareness Week

In support of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, occurring September 10-16, 2017, there are many activities to raise awareness within your community. Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement has created the 2017 Suicide Prevention Toolkit, that includes materials and resources that can assist you in planning and creating your own events.

As an excerpt, the following are ways to keep youth engaged and talking about suicide and suicide prevention:

  • The Suicide Prevention 101 Prezi provides information about the warning signs for suicide and how to provide support intertwined with short youth-produced films.
  • The Directing Change Program & Film Contest encourages young people ages 14-25 to create 60-second films about suicide prevention and mental health. Host a local screening, encourage young people to submit a film to the contest, or host a local screening, or ask your local movie theater to show a film. To view and download films and find several suicide prevention resources for schools and young people, visit Directing Change.
  • Active Minds Suicide Prevention Month 2017 is encouraging supporters to highlight the reasons they speak up about mental health and suicide prevention by using the hashtag #ReasonsISpeak and cumulating in Active Minds National Day Without Stigma. A cornerstone of Active Minds Suicide Prevention Month is their blog series, which features the stories of suicide attempt survivors and survivors of suicide. For blogs, social media events and Twitter chats visit Active Minds

For questions or support in planning your awareness activities, please send an inquiry to kcasela@mhac.org

Best of luck!


Join CAYEN at the Military and Veteran Suicide Awareness and Prevention Day

Come join CAYEN at the upcoming Military and Veteran Suicide Awareness and Prevention Day on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 from  9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Capitol (East Side of the California State Capitol 1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814).

We are coming together to raise awareness about suicide within the military and among veterans. Suicide is a serious and tragic public health problem that can be prevented through mental health and substance use awareness, services, and support. Suicide affects all Americans, but data show that active duty service members and veterans die by suicide at much higher rates than the civilian population. All of us have a responsibility to support and help our military personnel, their families, and veterans for protecting and serving our country. We must speak up about mental health, wellness, and suicide prevention. Our voices are amplified when we speak up together. By hosting Military and Veteran Suicide Awareness and Prevention Day, we bring attention to a stigmatized topic, strengthen community, and energize efforts to save the lives of those who have courageously served our country and protected us.

CAYEN will have a booth at the event. Come say hello and get to know our program!

This is a free community event. For more information, check out the flyer!

Bad Kids Movie Premiere and Discussion after with MHAC/CAYEN

The Bad Kids

January 16 at 8:50am · 

Here are some photos from the terrific screening we had last week at Studio Movie Grill Rocklin. We were lucky to have representatives of Mental Health America of California there for a post-screening discussion. Thanks to all who came out for the screening!

The Bad Kids is now playing in Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Columbus, Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago today through Thursday. More info: http://bit.ly/BadKidsShowtimes

Contact Your Member of Congress and Tell Them You Want to Protect Mental Health

Special thanks to MHA National for sharing this information. Please share widely and click this link to take action and connect with your reps! This link provided by MHA National makes it easy!

Last night, the Senate took the first step towards repeal of health care reform. Health care reform, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and/or Obamacare, made several changes to federal laws which have especially benefited people with mental health and addiction needs.

These changes include:

  1. Made mental health and addiction treatment a benefit that all insurance plans must fully cover
  2. Required insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions
  3. Allowed young people to stay on their parents’ family insurance plan until 26 years old
  4. Increased access to individuals who previously were not able to access coverage, through the exchange, Medicaid
  5. Improved coordination of mental, behavioral, and physical medical care for people

The House is poised to take similar action on Friday.

Any changes to the Affordable Care Act must keep these priorities in place. Right now, more than ever, we need you to contact your Member of Congress and tell them you want to protect mental health. Make sure that your Representative knows that you don’t want to lose coverage for you or loved ones – you don’t want them to repeal without a replacement, and you want the replacement to maintain existing coverage.