Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy Fellowship

Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy Fellowship

The Orygen Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy Fellowship is a seven-month virtual program for young people aged 18–30 from around the globe who are passionate about youth mental health and want to create change in the mental health landscape within the region.

Applications for the 2022 Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy Fellowship are closed.

About the Fellowship

The fellowship has been established to build the capacity, skills and voices of young people to create positive change in mental health awareness, policy and systems reform.  It will provide fellows with a range of skills and support them to further develop their youth mental health advocacy project plan, designed around the needs of their communities.

The fellowship modules follow the five sections outlined in the Global youth mental health advocacy toolkit, which was developed by Orygen as part of the Global Youth Mental Health Advocacy Fellowship project with the World Economic Forum.

The fellowship will consist of five modes of learning:

1. Education modules are a core part of the fellowship and will be the platform to develop knowledge and insights for mental health advocacy. Each of the five education modules will be composed of lectures, panel discussions and/or practical workshops. These will be mostly live. Each module aims to build on each other and will include a strong emphasis on fellow interaction. Education modules will cover the following topics:

  • Module 1: Defining mental ill-health, advocacy and personal development;
  • Module 2: Safety in advocacy and sharing your personal mental health story;
  • Module 3: Preparing for advocacy and developing a proposal for change;
  • Module 4: Doing advocacy part 1: public speaking, policy and fundraising; 
  • Module 5: Doing advocacy part 2: media and responding to risk; and
  • Module 6: After advocacy, creating sustainable change. 

2. Expert mentoring is used as a space for fellows to develop skills and expertise tailored to each fellow’s learning needs. These skills and expertise will help to equip the fellow with the resources and networks to enact their proposal for change. Mentoring will involve the fellow and mentor meeting monthly and is designed to be dynamic, personal and informal. 

3. Peer mentoring is an invaluable opportunity for the fellows to provide each other with strategic and emotional support. Fellows from diverse backgrounds and geographical areas will be paired together and will meet monthly.

4. Contact with leaders in global youth mental health: Beyond the impact of implementing their own proposal for change, fellows will be able to network with leaders in youth mental health from around the world.

5. Contribution: one component of the fellowship is experiential learning, which allows fellows to engage with the established work of Orygen.

Who can apply?

We would love to hear from you if you:

  • are aged 18–30 years-old;
  • have a specific interest or skill in youth mental health advocacy;
  • are from anywhere in the world. We are especially keen to hear from people in low and middle-income countries;
  • have a clearly defined challenge related to youth mental health which you wish to address; and
  • have a viable advocacy plan for addressing this challenge.

Orygen Global recognises that young people have varying identities of gender, culture, race, location, sexuality, and ability, and we are committed to working in partnership with people of all backgrounds and identities to ensure that Orygen Global is responsive and inclusive.

Frequently asked questions

All fellowship material will be provided only in English and participants are expected to contribute verbally and in writing in English. However, we welcome applicants from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The fellowship is a virtual program; however, an in-person convening may be hosted during the program.

The fellowship is a seven-month program. Fellows will need to be able to commit approximately 8-12 hours of time each month to fellowship activities. This will vary from month to month but will include a combination of educational modules and individual or group-based work.

Between the modules the fellows will maintain contact via an online platform to network, collaborate and share information and resources. It is expected that fellows will participate regularly in these discussions.

This is a global program and as such times may vary to accommodate different time zones of the fellows and presenters/partners. Sessions may occur very late at night or early in the morning.

You will be required to work on your advocacy project throughout the fellowship outside of sessions, in particular during the project planning month (month four).

Occasionally, we may ask you to do some preparatory or follow-up work for a session such as reading an article or watching a video. However, we understand that many Leaders are working full-time and/or have other personal and professional commitments. We will try to keep additional work to a minimum.

To participate in the fellowship, we ask that you make every effort to attend all of the Education modules (approximately 3-4 sessions per module, 8-12 hours per module). We understand that the program requires a significant and extended time commitment, and that both personal and professional circumstances may occasionally prevent you from joining sessions. These circumstances will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

You will need access to a computer with a camera and microphone and a reliable internet connection to fully participate in the program. However, if you face technical barriers, we strongly encourage you to apply and to let us know what kind of support you require. We will do our best to accommodate your needs, but please understand that we may not be able to accommodate all situations.

We are committed to making this program accessible to leaders with disabilities. We encourage applicants with disabilities to apply and to let us know what kind of support you would require to enable your full participation in the program. We will always strive to meet your needs as best we can.