Youth Council and Caring Council

TNOYS is coordinating two councils to help ensure inclusion of youth and caregiver voice. The Youth Council is open to youth, ages 16-24, who have experienced mental health challenges. The Caring Council is open to parents, family members, or other caregivers who have had a significant role in a transitioning youth’s development. While the councils are open to all interested youth and caregivers in Houston, the goal is to include as many who are engaged in services at grantee agencies as possible. The purpose of the councils is to explore ways that youth and caregivers can engage with grantee agencies as partners, develop advocacy skills, and educate each other on the TAYF Initiative and opportunities for effective involvement. The Youth Council in particular coalesced into a strong group during the planning phase. Participants ended the planning phase of the initiative by presenting four priority needs regarding their transition to adulthood at the Planning Council meeting in April 2014:

  1. Mentors to assist with transition
  2. Curriculum on mental health  disorders to help raise awareness
  3. Option to choose alternative  therapies, such as art, music, or equine therapy
  4. Job opportunities and internships