Our mission

Collaborate with youth, their families, and communities to accelerate the creation, implementation, and evaluation of innovative, culturally-responsive mental health and wellbeing programs, with an emphasis on increasing equity, expanding access, and centering youth voice.

Spring 2023

From our director

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!


It is exciting to see the expanded focus on youth mental health support and service across the state and nation. While we have been seeing unprecedented numbers of young people sharing their mental health challenges, we are buoyed by the amazing wisdom of the many young people we are able to work with and learn from daily. The youth members of our local allcove Youth Advisory Groups, our statewide Central allcove Team of youth, and the #GoodforMEdia team have been sharing their guidance and expertise across many venues and guiding youth service and social media development in multiple settings.  


Our team has continued to expand youth mental health and wellness in partnership with communities, providing a broad focus and reach, including:


  • Support for the development of the first five allcove centers, including the first state allcove conference this past April.
  • Partnerships with college newspaper editors and focused trainings for national media partners on preventing youth suicide contagion. 
  • Partnership on the 4th Annual Native Youth School and Community Wellness Conference in March, along with expanded ECHO trainings in Native youth mental health. 

We are grateful for your support of our young people and for keeping their needs, hopes, and vision at the forefront of our collective mental health and wellness efforts.  


With gratitude,



Youth voice


excerpt from a personal story shared by a youth advisor 

“Going to social services, mental health services, even my family doctor… At best they couldn’t do anything. At worst, I had my trust broken and endured even more trauma. I didn’t know what a system meant to protect me would look like. But I did know what a system shouldn’t look like and when I found the chance to use my lived experience to create a center for youth and by youth, that’s when my disillusionment started being replaced by hope. 

I remember my first time walking into an allcove not as a youth advisor but as a patient. I was greeted by a beautiful center and had an intake meeting. Right away what I noticed was that the process didn’t feel invasive. That’s because the questionnaire we used was designed around youth advisor feedback and all the staff hired by allcove were also screened and interviewed by youth, so they knew how to interact and treat us in holistic and comprehensive ways. 

We have peer support, substance use, physical health, and community wellness services all under one single roof, creating a level of accessibility and quality of care that’s unparalleled. This was in such stark contrast to the experience I had just a few years ago, running around, waiting for weeks or months at a time for services. What truly distinguishes allcove from traditional services is in its focus. Any youth between the ages of 12-25 can access allcove’s services. We’ve shifted the priority from treating mental illness to preventing mental illness. A young person who wants to go to allcove doesn’t need to think if they have insurance, if they can pay, or even if they have a diagnosis. All they need to do is take the first step - saying I need help - and know that allcove is there for them. 

It’s with pride and pain that I talk about allcove’s accessibility. I feel pride because what we’re doing is truly revolutionary. I feel pain because what we’re doing should be the norm. How do we make sure that each allcove center serves its community properly? Our state is diverse, which means that the youth are diverse. How can the allcove model encapsulate all of that? It’s because at the heart of every allcove center is a Youth Advisory Group, chosen to reflect the community they represent. Their experiences, our experiences, are given the chance to be more than sorrowful chapters in our lives. Youth input drives everything from the snacks in the waiting room to the design of our centers and even each allcove’s clinicians. Our experiences are transformed into a sanctuary. I once didn’t know what a system meant to protect would’ve looked like. But now, I think I do know. It looks like allcove.”

Watch Khoa-Nathan's story

Stanford Redwood City Sequoia School Mental Health Collaborative

Photo courtesy of Haas Center for Public Service, Image credit: Peggy Propp

Our school mental health collaborative is honored

The Stanford Redwood City Sequoia School Mental Health Collaborative, our Center’s ongoing partnership with Redwood City School District, Sequoia Union High School District, and the Graduate School of Education’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities, expands clinical and systems consultation and capacity-building research efforts to build school district capacity to support student mental health and wellbeing. This past March, Stanford’s Office of Community Engagement honored the Collaborative with the Stanford Community Partnership Award, an annual award that recognizes strong university partnerships which address a pressing need in the region. Superintendents, board members, and leadership from both districts, along with staff and students from the Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing and Gardner Center, came together to celebrate the achievement at the awards luncheon.

Tribal partnerships and projects

Continued collaboration with Native and Tribal programs

Our Native youth mental health projects continue to support expansion and

improvement of care through collaboration with Native and Tribal programs, as well as other

local, statewide and federal agencies.

In March 2023, our Stanford Center co-hosted the 4th Annual Native Youth School and Community Wellness Conference. The two-day virtual event brought together leaders, educators, mental health practitioners, stakeholders and Native American youth. The 570 attendees represented 40 U.S. states and more than 250 tribal affiliations. Speakers discussed trauma-informed best practices during crisis, learning with an emotional brain, and the use of indigenous values, arts and teachings to empower schools and communities. More than 750 registrants signed up for our Indigenous youth wellbeing Listserv to help keep the native youth mental health community connected.

The Mental Health ECHO for Native American Children and Youth uses the Project ECHO

tele-mentoring model to build communities of learning to share knowledge of culturally grounded, trauma-informed, and strengths-based mental health care. Continued funding has

come from the California Area Indian Health Service. 

Between January and May 2023, there have been 10 successful ECHO sessions with 514 registrants representing many tribal nations and professionals in the field across 38 U.S. states and 17 countries. The 2023 series has covered culturally-based conversations about

neurodiversity, oppositional defiant disorder, the allcove model, suicide prevention, Mental Health First Aid, sexual health and safety, and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement. Future topics will include intergenerational survivance, juvenile justice, substance use, and mental health in school settings.

Media and mental health initiative

Sonia introducing the panelists at the "Designing social media for youth mental health" event

#GoodforMEdia youth lead critical conversations about social media

Earlier this year, our #GoodforMEdia youth leaders developed a news guide, a resource for young people navigating media consumption on social media platforms. The guide includes strategies for teens interacting with news on social media through a critical lens, while also prioritizing their own mental health. 

In addition to creating resources for youth communities, #GoodforMEdia has been busy facilitating peer-to-peer workshops and presentations, both virtually and in person, furthering our mission by creating spaces for youth to reflect on the impacts of social media and tech usage. Our team of youth advisors engaged with middle and high schools and led a workshop for parents seeking positive ways to engage with youth around the nuances of social media use. The youth-led team also presented at the 2023 MozFest, the AIM Youth Mental Health Symposium, and at A Call for Kids’ Online Safety: A Dove Forum, highlighting #GoodforMEdia’s mission to destigmatize conversations about social media and support young people's healthy engagement across digital platforms.

On May 19, the team co-hosted the “Designing social media for youth mental health: Confronting the moral panic” event with Stanford’s d.school and support from the Stanford Ethics, Society and Technology Hub. Youth leaders Emily and Sonia emceed the event which featured a panel of policy, product and youth experts and hands-on activities where nearly 100 teens, college students and professionals came together to workshop how social media and its policies can be designed to better support youth mental health. 


tool for evaluating media portrayals of suicide

Since it was published last year, the Media and Mental Health Initiative team has been sharing the TEMPOS tool for safe reporting on suicide with people across the country. We have also engaged with reporters and editors through newsroom trainings for the LA Times, the New York Times, and the Associated Press (AP). We delivered a training webinar for mental health providers, public health professionals, and community-based organizations hosted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, we are partnering with four former Stanford Daily undergraduate journalists to create training materials specifically for college journalists to help support safe messaging and evidence-based best practices around reporting on suicide and youth mental health.


Photo by Ana Homonnay

Our first allcove conference and continuing expansion

In January, allcove Beach Cities held their grand opening with covefest that featured tours of the new center, a sound bath, live local bands, a mechanical shark, food and a variety of activities for young people 12 to 25 and their families. Members of allcove Beach Cities led tours for the nearly 400 attendees, including members of our Central allcove Team. 

New allcove centers in San Mateo, South Orange County, and Sacramento are continuing to work toward opening. Meanwhile, allcove Palo Alto continues to provide integrated youth services in their community and offer tours to inspire other communities to offer their own allcove centers. 

Gathering under the theme, “Moment of pause: Reflect, connect and inspire,” the first allcove conference, held on April 14 and 15 at the San Mateo Marriott, was a resounding success. Representatives from the five allcove centers and a conference youth advisory committee co-designed this inaugural convening of the allcove network, bringing together 135 attendees, including 44 young people, from allcove centers, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and other community partners. Our time together featured:

  • Keynote sessions led by Foundry, our international partner in Canada. 
  • Updates on model implementation progress from each center.
  • Model component sessions led by the Central allcove Team. 

From supporting the event planning to serving as emcees, presenters and panelists, young people played active and intentional roles throughout the entirety of the event. Attendees shared appreciation for the young people and for making connections across centers: 

“It was an inspiring experience to spend two days with a group of people committed to the values and practices that underlie the allcove model.”

“The youth voice was really inspiring. What they had to say clearly shows how well this model works.” 

Several local elected representatives attended and shared personal stories in support of allcove. Seeing young people continuing to build community as they returned home after the conference reflected their new connections that we hope will continue to grow throughout this next year.

Photo by Ana Homonnay

ACCESS project

Anti-racist, Culturally-minded Community Education, Support, and Services

Our ACCESS youth leaders and staff presented updates for our ACCESS project as the closing plenary at our first allcove conference. There, we shared the journey of ACCESS as it evolved from being a Youth Advisory Group project to a funded research project approved by the Institutional Review Board. We are in the process of finalizing our “allcove ACCESS guide: Anti-racist principles in practice,” which outlines key values and recommendations, co-created and co-developed by members of our Youth Advisory Groups, to help foster an anti-racist culture at allcove centers and other youth-serving organizations nationwide.

Youth development

Youth advisors mark Mental Health Awareness Month

This month, our Southern San Mateo Youth Advisory Group was excited to highlight Mental Health Awareness Month in San Mateo County with two in-person events in partnership with The Youth Center in San Carlos:

  • Middle School Real Talk: Supported by the San Mateo County Office of Diversity and Equity, our youth advisors presented at the Youth Center to youth ages 10 to 12 about the importance of mental health awareness and managing difficult emotions. We decompressed with youth by making stress balls and slime. 
  • Mental health awareness fair: Our youth advisors joined other mental health and youth-serving organizations within San Mateo County to spread awareness on mental health advocacy and resources, including sharing information about allcove and our regional mental health needs assessment


The StrengthIn.Youth project is developing a peer-to-peer curriculum for youth who support other young people navigating mental health and accessing resources outside of traditional mental health support systems. Our team will soon be conducting research focus groups with youth from various backgrounds to capture a spectrum of lived experiences in the development of the curriculum. The team’s goal is to intentionally connect with historically marginalized and under-resourced youth communities to capture authentic community-based voices, resources, tools, and experiences to include in the curriculum.

Welcome new team members

Pia Ghosh


Pia joins our team as the program manager for the Native Youth Mental Health Partnerships Project and the Media and Mental Health Initiative. As a public health professional, Pia has focused her work on adolescent wellness, development and education in under-resourced and migrant communities from Latin American, India and Eastern Asia. She has developed and implemented youth-centered and research-based programs in community, school, and clinical settings across the Bay Area, Philadelphia and Kolkata, India. Pia is a San Francisco native with a multicultural family that speaks and sings in many languages. She loves learning about young people's lived experiences and seeing them take their own journey.

Jeremiah Simmons

Yankton Sioux/Navajo; he/him/his; Two-Spirit

Jeremiah has joined our team as a post-doctoral fellow in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Jeremiah holds a PhD in clinical psychology and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in community-engaged approaches focused on reducing Native American youth health disparities through research, grant service delivery, and clinical service provision. Jeremiah will continue to help expand and improve efforts for Native American youth mental health and wellbeing by working on collaborative projects with Tribal, local, state, and federal partners through specialized training, consultation, and clinical services. Jeremiah was raised on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in Mescalero, NM. While he associates himself with the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation, his family originates from the Yankton Sioux (enrolled member) and Navajo tribes.

Wendy Walker


Wendy is our administrative associate, supporting our team with scheduling meetings, processing expenses, and helping with events. Before joining the team, Wendy worked in a preschool office handling enrollment for students ages 3-to-5-years old and an after-school program for K-5th grade.

In the media

Our Stanford Center’s work continues to capture the attention of the media. Below is some recent coverage:

Job opening

We are currently recruiting for a data systems manager position within our team. Please share this opportunities with people within your network who you think may be interested and qualified. 

Learn more about our data systems manager role
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