What you helped us accomplish in 2022
Enjoy this letter from YES CEO David W. Downing and YES Board President Brian Cheney which is part of this year’s YES’ Annual Report.
Dear YES Community – Eastside Children, Youth and Families, Clients, Donors, and Partners
We first and foremost want to convey our sincere appreciation for all your support throughout the year. Whether through donations, grants, advocacy, work collaborations, encouraging words, or patience waiting for services, you made a significant impact in ensuring YES’ ability to keep serving our community, and we are very grateful.
You helped increase access to services
As we all know, 2021 brought the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and schools reopening, and at YES the ability to transition back from virtual to onsite services for many of our clients. Life once again became recognizable while still presenting complexities and challenges that we carefully navigated. In these challenges, we found resiliency and, in some cases, emerged stronger. For example, due to our pivot to telehealth, we now offer both virtual and in-person services, increasing accessibility for clients and families.
You helped address staffing issues
While addressing the staffing challenges faced by not only YES, but the entire King County behavioral health system, we have taken the opportunity to focus on well-qualified applicants who also reflect the diversity in our community. This focus included the expansion of our H-1B visa and Green Card processes, which enabled us to attract and hire qualified multilingual and multicultural clinicians.
You helped re-evaluate YES’ Mission, Vision, and DEI work
YES’ commitment to reflecting the community’s diversity included adding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as a formal pillar of the Board-approved Strategic Plan. The YES Board of Trustees also implemented a standing DEI Committee to our official by-laws. Working together, staff and board rewrote the YES Mission and Vision statements and developed a new DEI statement.
You helped youth at school
Upon the reopening of schools last fall, our school-based staff found that social and classroom behavioral skills had significantly regressed among youth of all ages after the long stretch of isolation at home. Time was spent managing newly emerged issues in addition to working with the mental health and substance use challenges already on the rise pre-pandemic. In preparation for fall 2022, we have increased our school-based staffing in order to be prepared for the ever-increasing range of support needed.
You helped YES handle funding setbacks
Finally, although the reduction in Medicaid funding due to reimbursement model changes continues, YES is encouraged to have found allies in fellow provider organizations, donors, and many city, county, and state legislators. Alongside these groups and individuals, we are committed to finding solutions to the funding setbacks so detrimental to children and youth in our community. In the meantime, at YES we are working tirelessly to increase our own financial sustainability by continuing efforts to reach donors and increase private funding.
Thank you for your support!
One thing that remains constant is our ongoing gratitude to everyone in the YES community. It is heartening to know there are so many of you who share in our commitment to children, youth, and families, and recognize that with treatment, the experience of so many suffering from anxiety, depression, substance use, and other challenges can be improved. In our Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) groups, the phrase “creating a life worth living” is often used, and we continue to believe that because of your support, we are able to help many youth and families do just that.
Providing mental health and substance use treatment is only made possible through the generosity of our donors. Please consider making a gift today to ensure ALL children, youth, and families receive the support they need, no matter their financial situation.