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Being Youth-Guided means that young people have the right to be empowered, educated, and given a decision making role regarding their own care as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all youth in their community. Mecklenburg CARES strives to involve youth in each of these areas.

Benefits for Youth
Involvement helps youth to:

  • Understand the community in a different way
  • Make friends
  • Have a support group of people who "get them"
  • Create a positive change in their community
  • Develop new skills and knowledge
  • Reframe their personal identities from a label to a leader and change agent
  • See themselves reflected from peers and family members in a positive light
  • Develop confidence and strengthen their sense of pride, identity, and self-esteem
  • Create a better system that will help themselves and others
  • Have their voice heard and utilized

Benefits for Families
Youth engagement helps families to:

  • See the youth evolve into a leader with competencies and a sense of belonging, self-advocacy, and independence skills
  • See that youth are resilient
  • View the youth as a model for the family for utilizing mental illness as a strength
  • Become more strength-based as they see the youth growing and becoming change agents
  • Gain relief and respite from caregiving
  • See that the youth have the ability to connect with peers and have sustained relationships

Benefits for the Community
Youth involvement helps the community:

  • Interact with youth to overcome youth culture stereotypes
  • Increase its understanding of how young people view the world
  • Increase youth ability to make positive contributions to the community
  • Improve services based on guidance from those most significantly impacted by the system.
  • Learn about the fresh and innovative ideas of young people
  • Improve community relations

Provides a framework for youth involvement.

A.C.T.I.V.E Youth
A youth group designed for youth 13-17 with emotional/behavioral concerns that offers:

Trainings/ Workshops on Peer to Peer support, Leadership Training, Occupational Training, Resume Writing, Career Day, and Youth speakers with similar diagnoses.

Powerful Youth Voices also offers Fun Activities: Weekend Activities, Art and Music Shows, Movies, Sporting Events, Cultural Programs, Community Events, Legislative Opportunities.

For more information, contact ParentVOICE at 704-336-7128.

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