Clifford Ballantyne

Clifford Ballantyne started his journey in health services under the ACCESS Open Minds youth mental health research project in his community of Sturgeon Lake First Nation. From advisor to coordinator, Cliff had proven himself time and time again that he has the dedication and drive for positive change within youth mental health.


Currently, he sits on the National Youth Council and the Indigenous Council for the ACCESS Open Minds project.

Before he was introduced to the world of youth mental health, Cliff thought his experience with mental health distress had value only to him and no one else. Through the ACCESS Open Minds project and its aim to have youth involved every step of the way in providing and developing services that meet the needs of youth, Cliff was given the opportunity to utilize his experience and share how he is overcoming challenges with his own mental health.

Cliff is passionate about improving services and providing appropriate care to young people within the mental health care system. In combination with his own lived experience, this has made him a strong leader in advocating for and implementing authentic youth empowerment strategies as well as amplifying the voices of the youth with whom he works.