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Our Story

Updated: Jan 26

  • About the Young Minds Initiative

  • Meet our co-founders

  • Welcome to the Young Minds Initiative’s site!

Photo credit: Milad Fakurian via Unsplash.

 

About the Young Minds Initiative

Finding the right fit for therapy is a challenging and even extensive process, but it shouldn’t feel impossible.


The Young Minds Initiative (YMI) was born out of the idea that all people, no matter their background, deserve access to mental health care that addresses their unique needs.


Whether a person wants something far away from their small hometown, where they have no chance of running into someone they know, or would prefer to receive help by talking to someone on a trusted teletherapy platform, we all experience different circumstances influencing our decision to ask for help.


The YMI initially began in 2022 during the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy. Honestly, we weren’t sure if we would ever see it get this far, let alone if we’d even think about taking the next steps after we graduated from the program that November.


However, after talking to other community members, we realized that we do have the numbers; People in Fountain Hills care a great deal about youth mental health, but few have the time to work on something much bigger than any of us. So, we decided to continue this project and see where it goes. And if it only helps one kid, that’s completely fine with us because that’s one less kid who has to feel like they’re all alone in this world that their mind so effortlessly paints as a black-and-white life.

 

Meet our co-founders

The Young Minds Initiative was established by local Fountain Hills residents in 2023, after working with stakeholders over the course of a year.


“As an alumnus of Fountain Hills High School, this project presented an avenue for me to give back to my community. Throughout high school, I experienced depression and severe anxiety, and I visited with four different therapists before I found my fit after being diagnosed at age 15. My only hope is that the Young Minds Initiative makes searching for the right mental health provider easier for youth and their families.


“By involving other community organizations, we are creating a comprehensive support network for our younger community members navigating mental health challenges. While it’s not much, we want to demonstrate the strength in bringing together diverse organizations to address a common problem that individuals from all backgrounds experience. The Young Minds Initiative aims to spread awareness and educate others on mental illness, in addition to emphasizing the importance of normalizing conversations around this critical issue.”

- Rory Wilson, Co-Founder

 

Welcome to the Young Minds Initiative’s site!

As you explore our site, you’ll find seven pages:


Our Home page, like many other sites, is an introduction to what our website offers. From here, you can easily access our emergency and general resources pages, either by clicking on the buttons or navigating the menu bar at the top.


As you explore our Emergency Resources page, you’ll find a collection of services to contact in case of mental health crises, ranging from services local to Maricopa County and Arizona, national services, domestic and sexual violence resources, LGBTQ+ resources, and text lines — in the case that talking on the phone makes you anxious enough already.


Our General Resources page contains a much more extensive list of services in and near the Fountain Hills and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation areas. Using the search bar in the upper-right of the chart, you can explore different characteristics of service providers. — For instance, if you want to look at all services in your area that we’ve included, you can search “Fountain Hills” or “Scottsdale” and a number of providers will come up. Or, if you’re looking specifically for gender-affirming spaces, you may try searching, “LGBTQ+”. — Of course, it’s important to note that we included as much information as we could find, but just because certain details are not immediately available by providers, does not mean that they don’t offer those services. And, consequently, details may change related to those service providers, so it’s always important to check their website or call first.


To learn how to join our network, either by distributing our Resource Card, becoming a sponsor, or supporting us in some other way, you can visit our Community Partners page. This also contains information on our current partnerships with community organizations, ranging from nonprofits to first responders and churches — All organizations are welcome and encouraged to get involved in addressing this issue!


On our Statistics page, you’ll find data relevant at the local, state, and national levels. Lastly, our Additional Resources page provides a variety of articles that help youth and their families as they navigate the challenges of mental health, including how to start conversations about suicide, healthy coping mechanisms during the holiday seasons, and what community members across Arizona are doing to spread awareness on this crisis.


If you have any questions or recommendations, we encourage you to reach out and connect with us at any time by filling out the contact form at the bottom of our site. Someone from our team will respond as quickly as possible.


We hope you’ll join us in normalizing conversations about mental health!



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