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What is a Youth Peer Support Specialist?


A Youth Peer Support Specialist is a young adult (18 to 28 years of age) who has lived experience as a youth with mental health challenges. As part of their peer role to youth, they share their direct experiences and help empower youth to reach their goals. The type of support they provide is unique to each youth they work with. They provide youth with hope that they can achieve the things that are important to them. 


What Do Youth Peer Support Specialists Do?


Youth Peer Support Specialists help support youth with a serious emotional disturbance through shared activities and interventions. The services provided help youth by decreasing isolation, increasing hope, increasing engagement with other service providers, decreasing stigma, and by enhancing the youth and family mental health service array. The goal of Youth Peer Support is to support youth empowerment while working collaboratively with others involved in delivering the youth’s care.

Check out this video to learn more about Youth Peer Support Specialist.

What is Calling All Youth?   


Calling All Youth (CAY) Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (MOVE) is a group of young people, 9th grade to graduation, who have experience with an emotional, mood, or behavioral challenge. As a group, members work to reduce mental health stigma, educate the community, and develop their own leadership skills. They work alongside professionals, parents, and community members to improve mental health services in our community. The mission of this group is, "CAY seeks to educate and empower youth who have mood, emotional, or behavioral challenges to advocate for themselves, and use their experience and voice to improve the system of care of children's mental health services".


What are the benefits of Calling All Youth?


CAY MOVE offers many benefits to Youth in Kalamazoo County in a safe and respectful environment that celebrates the diversity of its membership. Being part of the group, allows youth members to have a voice and be heard by authority figures in their life. Through CAY MOVE, there are many opportunities to make friends and develop new healthy relationships while giving back to their community in an important way. In addition, youth who attend and participate in a meaningful way, get paid a stipend for their work. CAY MOVE youth also have the experience to add to their resume.


Contact Christina Smith at 269-303-7633 or
for more information on the application process
Become a Calling All Youth Member

New Youth Advisory Group Coming Soon

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