Youth Action Committee Applications Open! Deadline Jan 28!

January 12, 2018

The Youth Action Committee (YAC) is currently recruiting Co-Chairs and Committee Members for the 2018 group cycle!

About The yac

The Youth Action Committee (YAC) is a provincial advisory committee, made up of youth aged 16-25 who work to reduce stigma and improve mental health services for children and youth through youth-led policy recommendations. The YAC identifies a major issue youth experiencing mental health difficulties in Ontario are facing and sets out to find out how youth think we can solve these complex issues. Following province wide youth consultations, the YAC works with Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s (CMHO) policy team to generate youth-led policy recommendations. The group works together to deliver findings and recommendations to stakeholders responsible for change.    

About This year’s Project  

In 2017 our Youth Action Committee set out to begin the YAC’s next policy cycle. In March, a group of 9 dynamic youth advocates from across the province came together to discuss important issues that were happening in their communities and to bring forth their own personal experience with mental illness and mental wellness. Ultimately they felt that the mental health system in Ontario isn’t built to support all young people and many of them and their peers were experiencing “Gaps in Services” either because of a group they identified with or because of where they lived. They hosted two Youth Summits in Toronto and Thunder Bay to give young people the opportunity to identify service gaps they and their peers were experiencing and to form solutions to reduce these gaps. Following these summits, the YAC met with the Honorable Micheal Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, to bring forward the voices of the youth from the summit. 

In 2018, the Youth Action Committee will continue to work on this project by analyzing the information received at the 2017 Youth Summits, continuing to gather more youth input on gaps in mental health services and writing the final youth-led policy statement.

To learn more about the Youth Action Committee click here!

About The Roles 

Committee Member 

YAC members are expected to attend 3-4 weekend meetings held in Toronto between March-November 2018 (all travel, accommodation, and meal expenses will be covered) and participate in monthly conference calls. YAC Committee members will participate in planning and delivering a youth-led policy project; including organizing youth summits, collecting youth input, and analyzing and compiling results. Members are also expected to work in a team environment, communicate regularly between meetings, and work individually on assignments and tasks with New Mentality staff. 


In addition, the YAC Co-Chairs are responsible for working with New Mentality staff to plan and facilitate meetings. The Co-Chairs may also check-in with committee members between meetings, and assist members with travel to and from meetings within Toronto. Co-Chairs will also play a significant leadership role in the YAC project management; including overseeing deadlines and planing and writing and delivering a youth-led policy statement.

Desired Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Teamwork Conflict resolution
Emotional awareness/holding space Understanding/experience with youth engagement 
Understanding/experience of public policy Project management skills 
Experience on committees or similar projects Capacity to work remotely 
Connection to mental health  Group Facilitation (small groups and/or  larger events)
Harvesting  Understanding of Ontario’s provincial government 
Date analysis  Report writing 
Time management Strong self-care strategies 

Application Tips!

  • Review the questions before you enter the online application. To view a PDF of the application click here.
  • We encourage you to aim to answer each question in about a paragraph. Although your answers don’t need to be very long, this is your chance to tell us about yourself and why you think you are a good  candidate for the YAC. 
  • The above list of ‘desired skills, knowledge, and experience’ is just a list of things we are looking for in YAC members. We are not expecting any one person to have each one of these skills so on your application try to highlight in your answers the things on this list that you are strong in. And if there is something that you’re really good at that’s not on this list, let us know on your application! 
  • Don’t try to fit into a box of what you think we’re looking for, just be yourself! The YAC is made up of youth from across the province with a variety of different background, skills, and life experience, so it’s important on your application to be true to yourself.


If completing this written application is a barrier to you applying in any way let us know! You can email Mary-Anne Leahy at and we’ll make other arrangements for you to apply. Just be sure to do this before the deadline. 

If you have a question about the application, please feel free to contact us at