This year’s event highlighted the importance home, community and especially youth and family voice and choice in reaching successful outcomes for children and youth with mental health needs and their families.
This year’s conference had almost 100 participants from 20 counties across Michigan including parents, youth, community partners, young adults and Parent and Youth Peer Support Specialists.
The information packed day included a morning plenary, outstanding youth and parent keynotes and nine break-out sessions with topics such as: The Future of Family & Youth Driven Care & the Peer Movement; Youth Peer Support Services – One-On-One & In Groups; Families as Leaders in Children’s Mental Health…Following Families Down the Yellow Brick Road; Community Exposure Initiative; You’re Worth More than Gold: Strategies to Build Self Esteem for Youth at Home; MI Parent Support Partner Project- Family Driven from Inception to Evaluation; Intro to Youth Leadership: Using Your Voice and Experience to Create Change; and Finding Parent & Caregiver Voice Within the Juvenile Justice System.
Participants shared that they felt they were leaving the conference with a better understanding of the importance of family and youth voice and choice and that they gathered relevant information felt that they could use in their life and communities. A few comments from our participants include:
- Outstanding, relevant, useful sessions!
- Overall feeling of hope because of profound youth and family voices!
- I loved all of it! I can’t wait to take these things I learned into my community.
- This conference is very informational and I recommend it to other organizations, non-profits, schools and other agencies.
- Great conference I am glad that youth were able to be a part of panel and discussion!
- Very informational- enjoyed every session!
- Thank you for providing a scholarship for a youth from our community. They had a wonderful time and are excited to share what they have learned!
ACMH would like to send a special thank you to both of our plenary session speakers including our parent keynote speaker and the young people who shared their wisdom and experience with our audience at the lunch session. Participants were especially moved and inspired by these two sessions as you can see from the comments we received:
- Very hopeful! Speakers had so much courage to share their stories. Inspiring!!
- Highlighted importance of youth voice & supporting families. Gave hope!
- Some of the most inspiring speakers I’ve seen in a long time!
- Speakers very inspirational and offered tremendous hope!
- Awesome job! Thank you for sharing the story of your family’s journey & achievements.
- Great to hear youth voice and perspectives!
- Thank you to the youth for sharing their experiences! Children and youth voice counts and they want and need to be heard!
- How important it is to youth to have a voice! I learned how youth voice can advance the treatment process in positive ways.
- Helpful to hear how and what the youth did and figured out what was helpful and how to move forward seeking the help they needed.
- Excellent! I better understand the important role of youth voice; They gave me hope and inspiration!
ACMH would also like to send another special thank you to all of our our speakers and participants! Our conference could not be a success without each and everyone one of you and we appreciate you spending the day with us. A quote from the Wizard of Oz says it all “It’s not there you go, it’s who you meet along the way!” and we are so fortunate to have met all of you. Hope to see you all next year!