Youth are agents of change
Magellan Healthcare’s MY LIFE (Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment) is leading the way nationally for youth involvement in behavioral health and foster care systems. Through regular meetings, special events, performances, social media, and local and national presentations, youth share their stories and support each other in their recovery goals.
Stay Home for MY LIFE virtual youth fest
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Magellan Healthcare launched the Stay Home for MY LIFE virtual youth fest series, featuring inspirational speakers, uplifting entertainment, fun activities and more, for youth and young adults who have experience with mental health, substance use, juvenile justice and foster-care-related issues, as well as professionals and caregivers across the country.
A program for youth, by youth
MY LIFE is for youth between the ages of 13 and 23 who have experience with mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice and foster care-related issues. Youth who have a family member or friend experiencing these challenges are also encouraged to participate. MY LIFE began in Arizona in 2008. Since then, MY LIFE youth have helped establish additional groups in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Wyoming and Florida.
Outreach and engagement
The program actively engages youth through teaching, coaching and mentoring and empowers them to use their voices to inspire and create positive change for themselves and others in their local communities. Regular meetings are the foundation of the MY LIFE model, providing opportunities for youth to come together to create a community of support, plan activities and initiatives, practice social skills, learn from presenters and provide peer mentoring. More than 500 regular MY LIFE meetings across the country have involved at least 3,000 different youth. MY LIFE leaders speak regularly at community meetings and events and present workshops at local, regional and national conferences, including the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and numerous others.
MY LIFE presentations and workshops
|6,000+ youth and adult attendees|
|60+ local/national presentations by MY LIFE youth|
|62+ youth have represented MY LIFE|
MY LIFE youth have presented workshops in places including:
- Detention centers
- Government offices
- Community events
- Boys and Girls Clubs
“MY LIFE is a beautiful opportunity for youth to learn skills needed to help overcome their challenges, while inspiring them to be great role models for other youth and their communities.”
– Greg Dicharry, youth empowerment director, Magellan Healthcare
Youth Day at the Capitol
Each year, Youth Day at the Capitol gives MY LIFE youth a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with state legislators and government officials to share their concerns and ideas about the issues they feel most affect them. Events have been held in Phoenix, Arizona; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Lincoln, Nebraska and Tallahassee, Florida with
more than 2,500 youth participants.
Select awards and recognition
MY LIFE and MY LIFE youth have been honored by numerous provider and advocacy organizations for youth development, engagement and leadership. Some examples:
- Youth MOVE National “Rock Star” Award
- National Council for Behavioral Health – Program of Distinction
- NAMI Pennsylvania Advocacy and Youth Empowerment Award
- Mental Health America “MPower” Award for Hayley Winterburg, MY LIFE Arizona co-founder
MY Fest celebration
The Magellan youth festival MY Fest is a signature event. The one-day community event is organized by MY LIFE to raise awareness and reduce stigma about mental health, substance abuse and foster care issues facing youth and young adults. It features musical acts, dance performances, art exhibits and resources for youth and families.
|27 MY Fest events|
|600 exhibitors at MY Fest events nationwide|
|~60,000 community members inspired and educated by MY Fest|
Magellan Healthcare’s MY LIFE and related activities are presented in partnership with our customers, other youth-serving systems and youth groups, and a variety of local youth-serving organizations.