Youth Leadership Program 2023

Valuing interdependence and community resilience, we know that we can face the challenges of our world – promoting mental health, beating the pandemic, reducing poverty and inequities, and tackling climate change. We need to build our networks and strengthen our connections – we are all in this together!

Together we can foster policy actions that influence upstream investment in promoting well-being, resilience, and regenerating connection throughout Atlantic Canada and beyond. Come and join us in Charlottetown on the campus of Holland College to celebrate what we have done and build relationships to face our collective future together!

Who is eligible to apply?

ASI 2023 will fully fund at least five youth (18 – 25 years old) from each Atlantic province to participate in the Youth Leadership Program. Exceptions to the age limit may be made for young people who fit all other criteria. Youth organizations are encouraged to provide mentorship and support to nominated youth from the application through to conference participation to foster their successful engagement in the policy experience. Applications close June 30th, 2023.


To advance community action, grounded in hope, as essential along with policy to support community resilience and upstream investment in mental health of infants, children, and youth throughout Atlantic Canada and beyond.

  1. To enhance our understanding of the importance of connections – with family, community, place, and nature – for the mental health of infants, children, youth;
  2. To model a supportive and inclusive environment for learning and wellbeing and to learn from the experiences of communities in promoting mental health of infants, children and youth;
  3. To develop ongoing networks for youth engagement and to develop knowledge and skills for inspiring hope through community action and partnerships across sectors in the support of mental health promotion.
  4. To encourage collaboration amongst all age groups throughout the program and after ASI 2023; and
  5. To inspire action based on what we have learned about influencing upstream policy to promote mental health for infants, children and youth throughout their own communities and visualize what the future will look like in the Atlantic Provinces 
Program Design

The program will extend over three days. Following the youth leadership workshop on August 21, youth delegates will join other registrants for the ASI 2023 opening and keynote presentation and the full ASI program over the next two days. To create space for youth voices, round table discussions and learning circles will provide opportunities to learn together, build networks and celebrate innovative ideas for upstream investment in mental health promotion.

All youth registered for the program are expected to attend these sessions to learn about, celebrate, and contribute ideas for action on the recently released policy brief on upstream investment in mental health promotion. In addition, emotional support and safe spaces will be available during the program.

Invitations will be extended through our partner organizations. The ASI Youth Leadership Coordinator, Stacie Smith, will liaise with organizations and provide planning and oversight to the Youth Leadership Program. The program is being planned with input from youth leaders who attended past programs.

What are the elements of the program?

All youth who are accepted to the program will:

  • engage in a one-day youth leadership workshop;
  • participate in the full ASI 2023 Program, providing a youth voice during general sessions and round table discussions;
  • participate along with others in celebrating successes and contributing to promoting awareness of the policy brief on upstream investment
  • And grow their professional network with other like-minded youth and youth mental health professionals 

Once accepted to the Youth Leadership Program, you will sign an agreement that will outline your commitments and accountabilities. This will also include a process by which to request support or withdrawal from activities if needed.

Apply here: 

What is the selection process?

Applications will be reviewed by the organizing committee and participants. We want to ensure that many youth voices are represented during ASI 2023 and will try to accommodate as many requests as possible within our budget and capacity. 

For more information, contact Stacie Smith, the ASI Youth Leadership Coordinator: