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You are extending a lifeline during COVID-19

Lidia Harding
BGLAD Blog Donor Spotlight School-based Youth and Family Counseliing
youth mental health counseling

This past year has been an overwhelming time in the world and our community. With the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures children and youth are experiencing an increase in anxiety, isolation, depression, substance use, suicidal thoughts, and challenging family situations.

We at Youth Eastside Services (YES), were amazed by donors like you who gave generously in response to those impacted by the pandemic, ensuring that all children, youth, and families continued to receive the mental health and substance use counseling they needed.

As one donor noted, “I was inspired to give to YES because of the youth who are struggling right now. I want to tell them to hang on, life gets better.”

In 2020, more than 1,500 donors helped over 20,000 children, youth, and families through virtual mental health and substance use counseling services, school-based services, and community-wide educational events and support programs providing a path for all young people to recover, heal and thrive.

A lifeline through virtual technology

In March 2020, when YES had to pivot our annual Invest in Youth Breakfast to be a virtual event, donors stepped up and helped raise more than $960,000, more than ever before! As our physical locations had to close their doors, these donations helped cover the unexpected costs of implementing new HIPAA-compliant Telehealth technology. Our young clients were able to continue receiving uninterrupted services during a, particularly difficult time.

A lifeline during school shutdowns

School closures also left many students without access to in-school mental health and substance use support.

In response, one donor, who previously worked as an administrator in the Lake Washington School District, scheduled a recurring monthly gift.

“I saw firsthand the great work YES counselors did at the school and was impressed with how they helped so many students.”

Donors like this have helped fund continued support for students with virtual drop-in counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT groups, and recovery support groups, at no cost to students.

A lifeline in our community

Virtual technology has also been an effective way to provide community-based programs, like mental wellness programs, to youth and their families. BGLAD, a community-based group supporting LGBTQ+ youth, was able to expand its reach from high school youth to including middle-school-aged youth as well. One YES donor created a Facebook fundraiser to help even more LGBTQ+ youth during this challenging time.

A lifeline through safe in-person access

This summer your donations were used to launch our safe reopening of in-person services, in addition to continuing our virtual services. This hybrid model continues and has proven incredibly successful in providing the options to effectively reach more children, youth, and families during this challenging time.

Thank you for demonstrating your commitment to the health and success of our youth!

Please consider making a gift today that allows children, youth, and families the ability to continue to receive treatment from the safety of their own homes.

And thanks to donations like yours, no family is turned away because they can’t afford to pay for services!


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