The AIM Ideas Lab

Have you ever wondered...

“Can I make a difference in finding solutions to the youth mental health crisis?”

“How can I share my experience to drive positive change?”

“How can I talk with my friends about mental health in a way that is safe and helpful?”

The AIM Ideas Lab Experience

AIM Youth Mental Health invites high school students to take part in AIM Ideas Lab: A Youth Participatory Action Research project focused on elevating the voices of youth in discovering emerging mental health issues and advocating for programs, research, and public policy to address them.

Earn community service hours while working with teens from other high schools. Together, you'll learn about how to conduct your own mental health research, design and distribute surveys, and make recommendations to policy makers, researchers, and your community about how to address the youth mental health crisis that is growing in the wake of COVID.


Here’s what the 2023 Ideas Lab youth researchers found…

Monterey CountyMarin CountySan Luis Obispo County

High School Students

AIM Ideas Lab is about elevating the teen perspective in mental health research, programming, and public policy. It provides a unique opportunity for high school students to help drive youth mental health research because:

  • Adults need to know what is important to you
  • You have life experience that can help others
  • Your perspective matters
  • You can make a difference
AIM Ideas Lab Program Objectives
  1. Discuss youth mental health, emerging issues, and brainstorm ways to address the crisis with teens from other high schools.
  2. Learn about qualitative and quantitative scientific research
  3. Conduct peer-to-peer research mentored by youth mental health researchers and professionals
  4. Collect, compare, and analyze research with the findings of other cohorts involved in AIM Ideas Lab
  5. Bring the youth voice to the table by presenting ideas, research, and recommendations to teens, parents, educators, policymakers, and other community members
  6. Drive the next phase of investments in youth mental health research by making recommendations to the AIM Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the most impactful youth mental health research for the future

Educators & Student Support Organizations

If you know a high school student in the counties of Monterey, Marin, Alameda, or San Diego who would be interested in participating in AIM Ideas Lab please reach out to Jennie Liang at

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the AIM Ideas Lab?

AIM Ideas Lab is a project-based Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) program designed to raise the voices of teens and ignite their advocacy in discovering youth mental health solutions.

Who can participate?

For the 2023 – 2024 school year, participants must be high school students who live and/or attend school in Monterey, Marin, Alameda, or San Diego counties.

Does this program qualify for community service hours?

It is anticipated that participation in AIM Ideas Lab will earn between 10-15 community service hours. 

Upon the successful completion of AIM Ideas Lab, students will be given a certificate of completion from AIM Youth Mental Health.

You are solely responsible for following your school’s procedures in having those hours approved and accepted by your school or instructor.   

How long is AIM Ideas Lab and what are the participation requirements?

Students will need to commit to meeting virtually for 1.5 hours a week for 8-9 weeks starting in January 2024. Each county’s AIM Ideas Lab has its own schedule so please refer to the application link for more specific information.

Is this program free?

Yes, there are no application fees to join.

Can my friends also participate in the AIM Ideas Lab?

Yes, feel free to encourage friends to apply. We would welcome their participation! 

What technology is needed for accessing the AIM Ideas Lab?

AIM Ideas Lab activities will be conducted virtually.  Participants will need to have access to a phone or computer that will allow them to attend virtual meetings and communicate with their peers via text or email. 

Share the Ideas Lab on social media!

Thank you to our AIM Ideas Lab supporters!