Press Release

Valerie Barton Appointed Executive Director of The Youth Mental Health Project by Board of Directors

July 21, 2021

The Board of Directors of The Youth Mental Health Project has selected Valerie Barton, a veteran healthcare consultant, for the role of Executive Director succeeding founder, Randi Silverman.

Ms. Barton previously served as a Senior Vice President at Avalere Health and a Managing Director at Manatt Health Strategies, where she led strategy and operations for both firms’ healthcare analytics business lines and navigated her teams through rapid growth and change. Throughout her career, she has provided advisory services to not-for-profit organizations and has served on multiple boards, including The Foundation Schools and The Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County, where she was chair of the Development Committee.

The Youth Mental Health Project’s Board of Directors selected Ms. Barton after an extensive interview process and intensive transition planning in partnership with founder, Randi Silverman. Ms. Silverman launched The Youth Mental Health Project in 2016 and, under her leadership, the organization started The Parent Support Network, which has assisted 800 parents in 44 states, reached countless communities with educational presentations and content, and worked to remove the blame, shame, misunderstanding, and silence experienced by so many families struggling with their mental health.

“I am delighted that the next phase of our organization’s growth will be led by Valerie. Coming to us with over 20 years of experience in healthcare and with lived experience parenting a child with mental health challenges, she is passionate about the important issues around youth mental health and her leadership skills will elevate and expand the important work we do.” said Ms. Silverman.

“Through its focus on educating, empowering, and supporting families, The Youth Mental Health Project is poised to have an outsize impact on the way we talk about mental health and the amount of resources and supports that are available to families in this time of acute need,” said Ms. Barton. “It is a privilege to be selected to lead an organization of professionals with the passion, talent, and creativity to have such a positive impact on so many families. Randi’s vision, leadership and tireless work have inspired families, parents, and caregivers and has created the safe spaces they need to best support their children. I am excited to carry on her work.”

About The Youth Mental Health Project: The Youth Mental Health Project is a grassroots nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate, empower and support families and communities to better understand and care for the mental health of our youth. We envision a world made up of informed families and caring communities that realize and strengthen the mental health of our youth – a world where people are just as aware of their mental health as their physical health, where families are validated and able to readily access the care they need.

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