Lee Thompson Young Foundation Announces Lauren Carson As New Executive Director

Lee Thompson Young Foundation is helping to change the story around mental health through its educational awareness training in schools. The Foundation programs include:

  • MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION AND AWARENESS – Encouraging honest conversations and active engagement.
  • EMOTIONAL & RESILIENCE TRAINING – Demonstrating techniques to improve self-awareness and awareness of others: How thoughts and feelings influence behavior and how the application of cognitive-behavioral coping techniques in daily life circumstances enhances resiliency.
  • YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID – Designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health challenge or is in crisis.

The Lee Thompson Young Foundation (LTYF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Lauren Carson as LTYF’s new executive director.

Carson brings a unique set of qualifications with her background in mental health wellness initiatives, non-profit entrepreneurship and operations. In her new role, she will be responsible for directing and overseeing the daily operations of LTYF and will be responsible for fundraising initiatives and in the development and administration of the organization’s annual operating budget.

Ms. Carson has most recently served as executive director and founder of Black Girls Smile in New York, based on the gaps she experienced throughout her mental health journey as a young African-American female with clinical depression. On returning to her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, she wanted to continue her work with mental wellness. “I am committed to providing education, support and resources necessary for young people to lead more positive mentally healthy lives.”

Ms. Carson’s professional activities, association and community activities include, among many others, serving as campaign manager for the GA Campaign to Change Direction, Mental Health Initiative Forum Committee for United Way, Grant Advisory Committee for the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and event co-chair for the Annual Mental Health Fair and Walk. Ms. Carson was also the 2016/17 Atlanta 30 under 30 Non-Profit Professional Award Recipient. She is also a mental health blogger for Refinery 29, Huffington Post, Atlanta Black Star and HER Magazine. She has also been a committed mental health advocate speaker, including past presentations to Clinton Global Initiative University, the United Nations Day of Healing, Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority Health Summit: Mind Matters and the City of Atlanta College Series.

“I am pleased to welcome Lauren Carson as our new executive director,” said Lee Thompson Young Foundation co-founder Tamu Lewis. “Of all the wonderful and highly qualified candidates I had the pleasure of meeting, it was clear that Lauren was the best person for this role. She and I share a broad long-range vision, and she immediately understood the scope of what we wish to attain for the Lee Thompson Young Foundation. I am excited to work side by side with her as we move the organization into the future.”

The Lee Thompson Young Foundation was created after the death of actor Lee Thompson Young, by Tamu Lewis, Lee’s sister, and Dr. Velma Love, Lee’s mother. The Foundation was created to promote mental health literacy and to strive toward a world in which mental illness is recognized by all as a treatable, biological disorder and the stigma associated with it no longer exists; a world that supports and encourages wholeness and wellbeing at every stage of life.

“I want to continue to solidify the reputation of the Lee Thompson Young Foundation as being the provider of excellence for mental health and wellness programs in schools throughout the country,” said Carson. “Through collaboration with our partners, engagement with school system leaders, national professional associations and our funding partners, I want to see our organization rise to the challenge of demonstrating that ‘To Be Healthy As a Whole, Mental Wellness Plays a Role.'”


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