Young Adult Peer Leadership Academy 2022
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO), is eager to announce the 2022 Young Adult Peer Leadership Academy. This year’s conference will be conducted in a hybrid format (both in-person and virtual attendance options) and will bring together Tennessee’s Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialists (CYAPSS), Statewide or Local Young Adult Leadership Council members, and other young people interested in becoming certified as a CYAPSS or building their leadership skills to enhance the system of care for young adults for a full day of leadership training.
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services invites individuals currently holding the CYAPSS credential, young adults ages 18-30 interested in becoming certified, or other young adults who want to build their leadership skills.
We started off our conference with Youth Move National (Tymber Hudson, Youth Program Coordinator, Youth Move National left and Joshua Calarino, Youth Program Specialist, Youth Move National on the right) and their presentation on informal and formal peer support and how we can best aid someone who may need peer support or be a peer support. We participated in small group discussions and dove into what our ideal vision of peer support would look like within the State of Tennessee.
As we moved through our conference, we enjoyed a panel exploring the ins and outs of our Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialist program. The program was established in 2021 and certifies young adults ages 18 through 30 in Tennessee, who have lived experience with or are on a journey of healing from mental illness and/or substance abuse for at least a year, to provide peer support to other young adults dealing with the same issues.
Our panelists' include Sabrina Fillers, Youth/Young Adult Coordinator, TDMHSAS, Ryan Robertson, CYAPPS, RBT, Proud Moments ABA; CPCT/A, Ascension Saint Thomas ER; , Kiara Hunt, Peer Support Specialist, Mental Health Cooperative, Nashville, TN, Jessica Stanley, CPRS, CYAPSS, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist, Metro Drug Coalition, Knoxville, Tennessee and Jackson Westbrook, CPRS, CYAPPS, McNabb Center, Knoxville, TN.
Kate Kelly joined us next and led an open discussion on music therapy and the benefits of songwriting when someone may be struggling with their mental health.
She guided us in a songwriting activity where we had the option of using two different songwriting samples to help us write our own songs. From there, for those who were willing, Kate sang and played guitar to the same tune (Hound Dog). It was incredibly inspiring for each of us to see our expressions of our mental health and identity come to life through music. Kate Kelly is incredibly successful creating her own private practice and perusing her own music career.
The Belmont alum has her own private practice called Empower Music Therapy. Empower Music Therapy aims to use music to heal, explore and empower! At Empower, they provide many services such as music therapy sessions, adaptive music lessons, music lessons and yoga classes. Kate Kelly has also just released a new song recently called Stronger Than That which you can stream on Spotify or Apple Music!
Be sure to check it out and follow her on Instagram @katekellymusic.
Kiara Luna, LMHC is a #1 Best Selling author, public speaker, couples therapist and individual speaker with an emphasis on relationships, anxiety, trauma, boundaries and depression.
To close out our conference the lovely Kiara Luna led us in a discussion regarding the positive and negative affects that social media can have on youth and young adults and their mental health. Many participants shared how, in their own lives, how social media has put pressure on them to have this unrealistic lives.
Especially since the beginning of COVID-19, many youth and young adults feel that unless they were being the most productive versions of themselves that they were failing. However, the pandemic caused many youth and young adults to have increased feelings of anxiety and depression.
Kiara helped us navigate ways to help ourselves when we may be overwhelmed with what we are seeing online. We also discussed what boundaries that we can set between ourselves and social media or peers.
WHAT IF I’M IN CRISIS RIGHT NOW?
If you or someone you know is in a medical or life-threatening crisis right now, get help quickly.
- Call your doctor
- Call 911 for emergency services
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255) TTY: 1.800.799.4TTY (4889)
- Call Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line at 1.855.274.7471
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Tennessee Healthy Transitions Initiative, please contact:
Tennessee Department of Mental Health And Substance Abuse Office of Children and Youth Mental Health