AIM Ideas Lab

AIM Youth Mental Health invites high school students to participate in the AIM Ideas Lab, a Youth Participatory Action Research initiative designed to amplify the youth voice in mental health research. The AIM Ideas Lab empowers young people to identify and advocate for solutions to mental health challenges within their communities. This program allows teens to collaborate with peers from different schools and make a positive impact through student-led service learning.
Over the course of eight weeks, students delve into mental health topics, learn scientific research methods, and carry out their own research project from study design to data analysis. They will develop evidence-based insights and recommendations aimed at informing community development, influencing policy, and raising awareness. By participating in the Ideas Lab, students play a crucial role in driving positive change and advancing mental health awareness and policies.
Here’s what the 2024 AIM Ideas Lab youth researchers found…


of teens say that academic pressure worsens the mental health of students.


of teens believe their school should do more to support the mental health of their students.


of teens agree that mental health education should be included in K-12 curriculum.

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 Organizations​

If you know a high school student who would be interested in participating in AIM Ideas Lab, please reach out to [email protected].

Frequency 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.

For the 2024 – 2025 school year, participants must be high school students who live and/or attend school in California.

Participation in AIM Ideas Lab will earn between 10-20 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.   

Students will need to commit to meeting virtually for 1.5 hours a week for 8-9 weeks starting in January 2025. Each county’s AIM Ideas Lab has its own schedule so please refer to the application link for more specific information.

Yes, there are no application fees to join.

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

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.