Youth who experience mental health, substance abuse, and/or trauma inflicted as a result of abuse or neglect are more likely than other youth to drop out of high school, be arrested, be bullied or become homeless as they transition to adulthood. 1 To address this disparity, Magellan Behavioral Health of Florida is collaborating with Palmer Munroe Teen Center and Children’s Home Society of Florida to launch MY LIFE Tallahassee, a program designed to help “transition-age” youth ages 13 to 23 years old who have experienced mental health, substance abuse, and/or suffered trauma as a result of abuse or neglect, by providing them the opportunity to have a voice in the community. The first meeting of MY LIFE Tallahassee will be held at the Palmer Munroe Teen Center on Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 6 - 8 p.m. Interested youth are encouraged to attend to be a part of starting this innovative group in Tallahassee. Family members and youth supporters are also invited to attend. Dinner will be provided. Founded by Magellan of Arizona and local youth in 2008, MY LIFE focuses on inspiring youth to share their stories and support each other in their recovery goals through regular meetings, local and national workshops, presentations, and performances. The program helps to reduce the stigma associated with these challenges, inspire other teens to seek help if needed and take an active role in their community. Since its introduction five years ago, the MY LIFE program has expanded to Pennsylvania and Louisiana with seven groups nationally and more than 400 participants. MY LIFE youth have given more than 50 national presentations to nearly 5,000 people. The group has also planned and produced eight MY Fest youth festivals to share resources, create awareness and reduce stigma among more than 20,000 community members. MY LIFE is helping transform systems that serve youth across the country, and is bringing that experience to Tallahassee.
To learn more about MY LIFE’s outreach efforts and achievements, visit:www.MagellanHealth.com. 1 Hewitt B. “Rusty” Clark, PhD. National Network on Youth Transition