Phoenix, Arizona’s Hayley Winterberg, 16, is a mental health rock star. She created a program for youth ages 13-23 who have dealt with mental health disorders, substance use and/or foster care-related issues. It’s called Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment (MY LIFE), and its goal is to improve mental health care in Arizona and across the country. This year, she won the mpower award from Mental Health America for her work encouraging youth to get help for and promote understanding of mental health conditions.
Very cool. We asked Hayley to sit and chat:
I Heart Daily: What inspired you to start MY LIFE?
Hayley Winterberg: I was diagnosed as bipolar at 12, and I found that there was no group that focused on youth who struggle with mental disorders. I wanted kids to know that they can be heard and they can have a voice. That they don’t have to just be stuck thinking, “Oh I’m crazy,” and having that self-stigma.