Breakout Facilitator at the 2017 Teen Wellness Conference
Healthy Habits: How to Be Well
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Storytelling for Change
C0-facilitator: Chloe Sorensen
Stories are powerful. They build connections, change perspectives, and can even spark a social movement. In the realm of mental health, strategic storytelling can help end stigma towards mental illness, empower young people to seek help, and improve local and statewide mental health policies and programs for youth. At the ‘Storytelling for Change’ breakout session, participants will learn strategic storytelling techniques and how to use stories in local and statewide advocacy to promote youth wellness. As part of the workshop, youth advocates will share how telling their story has changed not only their lives, but also made a difference in their communities.
Annabelle Gardner is the co-founder and director of communications and development of Young Minds Advocacy (YMA), a San Francisco-based nonprofit that advocates for increased access to quality mental health services for youth and their families. Since 2012, she has led the organization’s efforts to reduce stigma towards mental illness, provide timely and actionable information to mental health stakeholders, and empower youth and their allies to influence mental health policy in California. Annabelle is also a board member of Good Ol’ Girls, a nonprofit that empowers progressive women through outreach, education, and mentorship. A firm believer in the power of storytelling to create social change, she also co-leads the Bay Area Cause Communications Community and is a strategic communications consultant for other nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area. Annabelle graduated from the University of Oregon’s International Studies, Human Rights program in 2006.