FYIdaho’s impact on mental health

Madeline Titelbaum, Youth Program Coordinator Photo credit: Chester Chan

FYIdaho is a non-profit organization committed to improving, preserving and restoring the mental health of youth and families in Idaho.

The organization’s focus on promoting the voice of youth and families in youth-serving systems, partnering with families to access resources and community supports, operating youth programs, and educating parents, professionals and others working with youth has made it a notable force in the state.

FYIdaho’s mission is guided by its vision to maximize the potential of children, youth and their families for full involvement and inclusion in their community. With a belief that every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential, the organization is working to provide resources and support to families, youth-serving systems and communities throughout Idaho.

Madeline Titelbaum, the youth program coordinator, shared that FYIdaho is a state and federal-funded organization.

“We are funded both through a state and a federal grant and contract so we have a state contract,” Titelbaum said. “We’re a family-run organization, which means that like 51% of our board is a family member with lived experience. So that means someone who themselves have either had mental health struggles or they’ve had someone close to them or a family member experience mental health struggles.”

FYIdaho had a myriad of teen programs, youth empowerment services and training available for parents and caregivers.

Youth Empowerment Services
Youth Empowerment Services Photo credit: Chester Chan

Teen programs

Youth MOVE Social Support

Youth MOVE Social Support is a peer-led group for neurodivergent high school-aged teens focused on helping teens gain self-acceptance, self-discovery and self-advocacy tools that will help them navigate adulthood.

The group will be discussing topics such as emotional regulation, forming and keeping healthy relationships, navigating life transitions and participating in activities such as group discussions and games.

Youth MOVE Social Support’s mission is to provide support and guidance to young people as they learn and grow into adulthood. The group believes in creating a safe and welcoming space, where individuals can gain the skills and tools they need to succeed.

Boise Brick House

Founded in November 2021, the BBH welcomes high school participants from across the Treasure Valley area. The drop-in center is located in Families and Youth of Idaho’s office, a 1940s home in Boise.

The BBH consists of a retro kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a club meeting room, a back patio, a front yard and a downstairs hang-out room. Operated by FYIdaho staff and trained teen volunteers, the BBH is a safe place for teens to gather with their peers to build connections and decompress.

According to the center’s website, the BBH seeks to nourish teens’ brains and bodies by providing healthy snacks and meals for free, as well as a place to study and learn new skills. Teens are encouraged to host study groups and student club meetings at the BBH.

The center offers regularly planned activities and events put on by community partners or FYIdaho Teen Leaders.

FYIdaho Boise Brick House
FYIdaho Boise Brick House Photo credit: Chester Chan

Youth Empowerment Services (YES)

Idaho’s children’s mental health system of care, Youth Empowerment Services (YES), assists families in accessing services and support for their children with serious emotional disturbance (SED).

The YES system also establishes significant partnerships between families, youth, providers and public agencies to address the youth’s specific needs. The program strives to use a youth and family-centered, team-based and strengths-focused approach to identify, plan and implement mental health care early on.

This helps youth function better at home, in school and in the community. The program’s ultimate goal is to create a system of care that is accessible, effective and meaningful for all who need it.

Parent/Caregiver Training

According to the FYIdaho website, they claim that the purpose of their parent/caregiver training and resources is to, “empower parents with the knowledge and resources they need to be able to navigate their unique parenting journey.”

Below are some resources available, provided by FYIdaho’s support team.

Family Support Line

Concerned parents or guardians can call, email or chat online with the FYIdaho Family Support Line.

Parent Support Group

A virtual space that provides comfort and community for parents and guardians of youth dealing with mental health challenges, FYIdaho’s Parent Support Group can assist parents and guardians as they navigate parenting.

FYIdaho Living Room
FYIdaho Living Room Photo credit: Chester Chan

Parent Education

Throughout the year FYIdaho will hold education conferences and events for parents. A calendar of their events can be viewed on their website.

Advocacy Opportunities

FYIdaho gives parents and youth the opportunity to share their experiences with mental health challenges.