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Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being

The goal of the Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being is to raise awareness for better mental health services in the community for young people and their families, and to coordinate delivery of those services to ensure the community’s youth have a chance to succeed.


Meet the Director

A photo of Dr. Altha Stewart

Altha J. Stewart, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Community Health Engagement at UT Health Science Center in Memphis is Associate Professor and Chief of Social/Community Psychiatry as well as Director, Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being at UTHSC.  In 2018-19 she served as the 145th President of the American Psychiatric Association, the first African American elected to this position in the 175-year history of the organization.   Prior to joining the faculty at UTHSC, she served as Executive Director of the Memphis/Shelby County System of Care program.  A native of Memphis, Dr. Stewart worked for decades as CEO/Executive Director in large public mental health systems in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.  She received her medical degree from Temple University Medical School and completed her residency at what is now Drexel University.  She has received honorary degrees from Regis College and Christian Brothers University in Memphis.  She is past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America, Association of Women Psychiatrists and American Psychiatric Foundation.  She is the recipient of the Black Psychiatrists of America Lifetime Achievement Award.


If you are requesting assistance from any of our programs, please click here to Request for Assistance. If you would like to contact us by phone, please give us a call at 901.448.4200.

Integrated Care for Child Wellness (ICCW) connects youth that are living in targeted zip codes with chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries to help coordinate health services to improve school attendance.  Families and youth work with intervention specialists to establish a healthcare plan to better manage chronic illnesses and maintain stable health and school attendance.  The program uses trauma-informed wraparound community-based resources and supports to coordinate the delivery of service to improve, manage, and follow-up with families and youth that are having difficulty managing their medical and behavioral conditions. 

South Memphis Gang Intervention Model to Prevent Adverse Child Trauma (IMPACT) works to prevent and reduce gang involvement and gang violence for youth in the South Memphis community.  Through partnerships with trauma-informed community providers, the program addresses unhealthy and risky behaviors by providing opportunities to learn coping skills, gain experiences that contribute to more positive lifestyles, and enhance their capacity to make healthier life choices including resisting gang involvement.



Apr 29, 2024