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23 EpisodesProduced by Youth Leadership Institute with Demitria Wack and Michael Wiafe

PolicyWise is a podcast from Youth Leadership Institute in partnership with California Forward that delivers intergenerational policy discussions.


Episode 20: Mental Health Awareness Month with Josh Chan and Ashley Mills

Hosts: Demitria Wack and Michael Wiafe.Guest: Josh Chan and Ashley Mills.Production and Marketing: Jarrett Ramones, Tim Haydock and Abby Pugh.
Today we will be talking about an ongoing public health crisis. Over 26 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 meet the criteria for having a mental illness. By 2029, mental illness is predicted to become the leading cause of disease worldwide. Strikingly, one million people commit suicide every year and 10 to 20 million attempt it. And these attempts disproportionately affect youth, older adults, veterans and LGBTQ people. Among young people, Native Indigenous youth have the highest rate of suicide of any ethnic or cultural group in the US. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth from 10 to 24 years of age.

With us today we have Josh Chan and Ashley Mills.

Josh is a first-year student at UC Santa Barbara who has been a Mental Health advocate since high school. He became passionate about the cause after supporting his close friends who dealt with depression and anxiety. As a Marin County Youth Commissioner, he organized the County's first Mental Health Summit at the College of Marin and partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to raise awareness for the cause, including speaking at the annual NAMI walk. In his high school, he started a Mental Health Awareness Club, successfully advocated for the continued funding of on-campus therapists, and hosted a student led panel about healthy ways to deal with stress.

Ashley is a senior researcher at the California Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission and a leading voice on Suicide Prevention, who also was instrumental in creating the California Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention.

Resources and Links:
Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Committee

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