Current Work


Adolescents and Children Together for Health (ACT for Health) believes that everyone’s mental health can be supported and promoted, regardless of whether they have a diagnosed mental health condition. This guiding idea, drawn from principles laid out by the World Health Organization, is why ACT for Health seeks to improve mental health and wellbeing in all children and adolescents. At present, ACT for Health is focusing on high-school aged adolescents, who face many unique health challenges. 

For Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, 2019, ACT For Health and AcademyHealth focused on teen health crises. ACT for Health and AcademyHealth released a Policy Playbook which outlines policy recommendations and advocacy strategies across seven domains identified by the National Summit for Policy & Action on Teen Mental Health Crises convened by AcademyHealth and ACT For Health in June, 2019.  With support from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) of Pittsburgh and a National Advisory Panel, the Playbook identified advocacy strategies to support the following conclusions from the Summit:

  •  A fresh approach to financing and funding is essential.
  • New models of care must cover all the sectors engaged in crisis response.
  • These models must be teen-centered and engage families.
  • Models should take advantage of digital health information and communications technology.
  • Value-based payment approaches should be tailored to teen mental health.

In 2019, ACT for Health launched a new initiative entitled "Moving Policy Upstream to Advance Adolescent Flourishing" With AcademyHealth, and funded by the Well Being Trust of Oakland, Ca.

Overall, ACT for Health is:

  1. Evaluating and identifying innovative interventions and strategies for enhancing adolescent flourishing; and
  2. Developing and disseminating a series of evidence-based recommendations designed to universally bolster adolescent  psychological, social, and emotional well-being.

Implementation of these policy recommendations will enhance access to the vital conditions necessary to support youth well being and build resilience in adolescents, their families and their communities.