Three Local Youth Advocates to Attend Oregon Summit

LEWISTON – Three area youth advocates will represent THRIVE System of Care Initiative and Youth M.O.V.E. Maine at the June 22, 2009 Youth Summit in Portland, OR.

Jennifer Thompson and Dustin Strout, both of Lewiston, and Hillary Groves of Mechanics Falls will join 40 mental health and systems-experienced youth and young adult leaders for a day of peer-led activities. They will focus on uncovering shared experiences, gaps in youth-focused services, priorities and strategies for service and system change, and research and resource needs.

The resulting youth-voiced “Call to Action” will outline positive solutions to improve the health and human services that young people like themselves receive.

A national board of peers is planning and will facilitate the Summit, which is hosted by the Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health in Portland, OR.

THRIVE System of Care Initiative is building a network of services and supports for children and youth who have experienced severe emotional disturbance and their families in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties. The Thrive Initiative promotes family-driven, youth-guided, culturally and linguistically competent, and trauma-informed services. It is a partnership of Maine’s Children’s Behavioral Health Division, Tri-County Mental Health Services, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in collaboration with local provider agencies.

Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others Through Voices Of Experience) is a national youth led organization devoted to improving services and systems that support positive growth and development by uniting the voices of individuals who have lived experience in various systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare.

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