Thank You Youth MOVErs!

In celebration of the #SeasonOfSelfCare, I’ve decided to start my post off by talking about one of my favorite things to do for self-care. This year more than ever I’ve found that I’ve spent a great deal of my free time looking for inspiration that helps to ground me and guide me in my work and in my day to day life. Sometimes this means waking up at 4am to drive to New Hampshire’s Seacoast so I can watch the sunrise on the beach and other times it means taking my nieces on an unplanned adventure just because. But, since I frequently find myself short on free time, my search for inspiration becomes more limited and usually entails scrolling through social media platforms to find memes with pretty pictures and uplifting quotes. This self-care practice of mine quickly integrated itself into my workflow. That being said, you can imagine my excitement at being tasked with managing the Youth M.O.V.E. National Facebook page so that I can share these little tidbits of wisdom and inspiration with you all instead of keeping them all to myself. Yes - I am the Youth M.O.V.E. National staff member working behind the scenes to spam your newsfeeds with positivity, and, in full disclosure, if it was up to me, I’d be posting them on our page 6-7 times a day!

Anyhow, the greater purpose of me telling you about my hobby turned passion was to express to you that for Youth M.O.V.E. National team, YOU are our daily inspiration. Being able to hear about and see all of the outstanding work that you are doing in your communities with and for young people all around the United States is what moves us forward as individuals and as an organization.  We are constantly amazed by the power and accomplishments that have been achieved by individual young people who are engaged in our Chapter Network and by the collective youth voice of Youth M.O.V.E. Chapter Network nationwide.

I would like to take this time to celebrate and thank the amazing Youth M.O.V.E. Chapter Network for making this MOVEment rock all year long - you’ve had a busy year advocating for systems change, amplifying the youth voice, providing formal and informal peer support, participating in countless conferences, webinars, trainings, Chapter Chats, planning weekly programming activities for Chapter members, holding awareness and stigma-busting events in your communities, empowering more than 10,000 youth and young adults across the nation, and really helping us at Youth M.O.V.E. National to dream big about the future of the youth MOVEment! The work that you do within your Chapters and communities amazes and inspires us every day. We are truly grateful for your passion, energy, and dedication to this work. Join us in celebrating YOU and all of the other #RockStars in our Chapter Network; you are the true drivers of the youth MOVEment and, without each and every one of you, our work would not be possible.


Ps. Here is my attempt to make a meme out of an inspirational message that I wanted to share with you all today because YOU are living proof that it is true: “You’re never too young to change the world!”


Join Youth M.O.V.E. National in Text Talk Act

Every day is a day to talk about mental health. But do we?  Having candid dialogue about mental health isn't easy.  Just think about how you might bring the topic up in conversation... 

See, it's easier not to say anything!  Which is one reason Youth M.O.V.E. National is so excited to support a national dialogue for youth via text message on November 20!  We invite each of you to join our Chapter Network and individuals across the country for a #mentalhealth conversation on the 20th.  It's easy to join in!

Here’s a little about Text, Talk, Act:

Text, Talk, Act uses text messaging to facilitate a face-to-face conversation on mental health. Participants gather in small groups (3-4 people) with one cell phone per group. They text START to the number 89800 to receive a series of text messages that guides their group through a conversation on mental health: why it is important, how to care for it, and how to help a friend in need. The text messages include videos, social media interactions, polling questions and discussion questions.

Getting youth to talk about mental health is an especially important conversation, given that ¾ of all mental health problems begin between the ages of 14 and 24.  Using this innovative approach), thousands of young people in all 50 states have gathered in small groups (in dorm rooms, kitchens, cafes, classrooms, and more) to participate in this growing movement. 

Bring Text Talk Act to your youth group, community meeting, school classroom or elsewhere on November 20. And please, help us spread the word!

To learn more about Text, Talk, Act, go to:

#InspireWellness: Finding Balance

I have always been a person who struggles to find balance between all the things I love to do and all the things I have to do.  As I have gotten older I find myself in a place of reflection looking back on all the things that have brought me joy before I became a career oriented adult and the fun spirited, athletic, creative person I was in high school. Somewhere during my personal transition into adulthood I have forgotten how to have FUN!  As a sister, a daughter, advocate, a friend, a survivor and someone who lives with a variety of mental health challenges it can be overwhelming to balance all those roles and mange my own wellness. Often I am so busy with work, helping others and family by the end of the day I have very little energy to give to myself let alone financing time to add fun back into my life.  

I have great people around me who always remind me to disconnect, take vacation and make myself a priority again. So over the last year I have been doing exactly that, finding ways to incorporate more balance into my life.  Balance for me means that I have a plan to manage my work responsibilities, with my family responsibilities, and find ways to nurture my physical and emotional health while adding in more FUN. So in celebration of wellness month I wanted to share with you some tips that have worked well for me over the last year and let you know what I have been up for FUN!

What has worked well for me at work and with my family is being more confident in setting boundaries around what I can do and what I can’t do within the number of hours in a day.  I have found having open communication with those around me has made a huge difference elevating my anxiety and stress. This communication has helped open dialogue to give me more of a voice in how my day and to do list is structured.   

To maintain my physical and emotional health I have made changes in my daily routine that consist of eating healthy, reducing my caffeine intake and making sure I find time to get outside and exercise daily. Focusing more on my physical health has done great things for my energy levels and really helped with my depression.

What has been most exciting for me over the last year is getting reconnected with my creative side, finding hobbies and challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone.  So over the last year I have set goals for myself to train for a 5k, picked up hiking (which is not easy for someone with a fear of heights) and I got back into my creative space and now upscale old flea market finds!  

Having the ability to regain control of how my day, week and weekends are structured and not feeling selfish for taking the time I need to feel whole has been a hard journey. I have not fully mastered it yet but I have come a long way over the last year. I am thankful for my co- workers, families and friends who often remind me to take time I need, encourage and celebrate with me my new found hobbies.  This has made the world of difference for me in maintaining a FUN outlook on wellness which makes is so much easier to maintain.


RockStar Award Nominations Now Open for 2015


Decorah– (September 16, 2015) – It’s that time of year again; Youth Motivating Other through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is celebrating the 5th Annual RockStar Awards! This prestigious award honors individuals and organizations who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of youth, services and systems that support positive growth and development of young people who have lived experience in various child-serving systems including, but not limited to, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. On your mark, get set go! NOMINATIONS are OPEN until October 15th!!!  National RockStars will be announced during the 26th Annual National Federation of Families Conference in Washington, DC. Submit your nomination today by visiting 2015 RockStar Nomination Form. For more information visit our website at


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