All too often, Americans view mental health care as a privilege for the wealthy and feel unwelcome or disconnected from traditional providers. At the AAKOMA Project, we are working to change that perception. We believe that everyone—regardless of background, income, or identity—deserves optimal mental health. We define optimal mental health as: ● recognizing mental health challenges when they arise ● understanding where to go for help ● supporting friends and loved ones to seek help Since the stigma associated with mental health care often begins early, we work with teenagers and their families to raise awareness, conduct patient-centered research, and encourage young people to begin conversations in their communities. We bring a special focus on the unique experiences of people of color and marginalized communities. As a result, we are able to engage with communities on a deeper, culturally relevant level by conducting research and providing clinical support. Welcome to AAKOMA and thanks for joining our community.