Martin Rafferty is the founder and executive director for a state-wide chapter of Youth M.O.V.E. National called Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon. Martin was diagnosed with bipolar II at 23 and later with PTSD but does not let diagnosis define who he is. Martin is the winner of multiple advocacy awards in the field of mental health and the author of curricula used by state leaders in Oregon to train peer support specialists. As an experienced public speaker, Martin has trained nationally since 2009. He is the primary author of the Youth Mental Health Bill of Rights and the director of an award winning documentary video called Project Invoke.
Martin has focused his work recently on reaching rural or system weary young people via social networking. Currently his organization has the largest social network of any young adult focused organization, with numbers growing every day. The focus of Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon’s social networking campaigns is always to compete with popular content that is being shared virally, while at the same time offering important messages to its target audience. In 2009, Martin successfully launched a campaign that promoted positive mental health messages in advertising space inside popular video games. This campaign helped to lead other youth serving organizations to take advantage of this unique podium.
Martin is currently the co-chair of the Oregon’s Children’s Mental Health Advisory Committee. He has been on the Youth Advisory Board of the website reachout since 2008 and also served for 3 years on the board for CAFETY. He is the winner of the Oregon 2010 Mental Health Award of Excellence, the 2010 “Ma” Curtis Award from the Oregon Coalition on Housing and Homelessness for his advocacy for homeless and runaway youth, and the 2013 Advocate of the Year award presented by the Oregon Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. During the 2013 FFCMH conference in Washington D.C. Martin also accepted on behalf of his organization the 2013 Rock Star award for Chapter of the Year.
With his first position being with MindFreedom International, Martin has a unique perspective on mental health advocacy. His sometimes direct tactics paired with the will to partner systems has lead for a reputation for integrity from mental health professionals and critics of traditional care.