AIM Youth Mental Health

We envision a world of mentally healthy youth.

aka AIM for Mental Health   |   Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA   |  https://aimformentalhealth.org

Mission

AIM is finding and funding the most promising youth mental health research in the world, while building a movement devoted to the mental health of children, teens, and young adults.

Ruling year info

2016

Founder

Susan Stilwell

Main address

PO Box 4235

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-3992060

NTEE code info

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

Other Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking Foundations N.E.C. (O99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (H12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We have all been touched in some way by the heartbreaking realities of youth mental health. The truth is it’s a growing epidemic with 1 in 5 children, teens, and young adults struggling with their mental health. Yet there is a stigma around the topic. We AIM to stop the silence around youth mental health by raising awareness and funding groundbreaking research, so we can begin to find real solutions with immediate impacts. Because the health of our youth is the health of our future.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Research

We find and fund the most promising youth mental health research in the world to help kids now. AIM is not disorder or institution-specific, which means that we fund research of the most innovative treatments for all mental disorders in youth, and find the best, cutting-edge research teams and individuals, regardless of where they are based. Through strategic vetting and funding of clinical research to find solutions for mental health challenges, AIM Youth Mental Health is helping kids today.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
At-risk youth

Through our AIM for Awareness Programs, we connect with and empower children, families, educators, mental health practitioners, and mental health researchers. We are raising awareness and empathy and providing resources through our annual Walk and Rallies, Scientific Symposiums, and Ad Contests for students. We are building a movement with a positive, forward-thinking focus.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
At-risk youth

While elevating the voices of youth in mental health issues plaguing them and their peers, the AIM Ideas Lab fosters students' entrepreneurial and collaborative thinking around the most pressing issues in youth mental health -- making youth a part of the solution. The AIM Ideas Lab is designed to serve the dual purposes of prevention and education of mental health challenges in our school-aged youth with an emphasis on evidenced-based solutions to the growing mental health crisis in the wake of COVID. The AIM Ideas Lab involves extensive and targeted engagement with high school students, as well as teaching and support staff in Monterey County and Santa Cruz Counties of California. Led by a team of educators, therapists, and youth mental health researchers, the AIM Ideas Lab youth participants are well-supported in an emotionally safe, empowering, and inspiring environment.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Family relationships
Health

Where we work

Awards

Award of Excellence - Nonprofits 2018

Carmel Chamber of Commerce

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children able to exercise appropriate control in independent and group activities

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups, Family relationships, People with other disabilities, People with psychosocial disabilities

Related Program

Research

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AIM funding research pilots engage children, youth and young adults in mental health treatment trials helping them exercise emotional control.

Number of people who received clinical mental health care

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Family relationships

Related Program

Research

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AIM funded research opens access to clinical mental health care for children, teens and young adults and those who love and care for them.

Number of research studies conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Family relationships, Ethnic and racial groups, Health, Sexual identity

Related Program

Research

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AIM is/has investing/ed in 12 ground-breaking youth mental health research studies and programs to treat anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, suicide, mood disregulation etc.

Number of students enrolled in service-learning courses

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Health, Social and economic status

Related Program

Awareness

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The AIM Design Challenge engages middle and high school students in expressive arts as a medium for expression about youth mental health challenges.

Number of students with good social and leadership skills and self-discipline

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Health, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Awareness

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Youth from diverse backgrounds and experiences engage in presentations of art projects focussed on youth mental health at art galleries and public exhibits.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

AIM Youth Mental Health's broad goals are to:
1. To improve the quality, consistency, and accessibility of evidence-based treatments that address youth mental health challenges by funding and publishing research, protocols, and  meta-analyses.

2. To raise the general level of knowledge about youth mental health and the role of finding and funding promising research to drive solutions among internal and external stakeholders including the community at large.

AIM Youth Mental Health Ideas Lab goal is for youth from diverse backgrounds and experiences to discover solutions to their own mental challenges and drive the next phase of youth mental health research, treatments, and solutions. The program AIMs to engage, train, and empower youth from socioeconomic and cultural groups across the US to confidently represent one of the most pressing issues facing youth today: their own mental health and wellbeing. AIM brings hope, as youth from diverse backgrounds and experiences:
1. Become trained youth mental health ambassadors, able to identify key issues and solutions related to emerging and burgeoning youth mental health challenges.
2. Conduct their own qualitative (talk with your peers) and quantitative (survey your peers) research mentored by world-renowned youth mental health researchers.
3. Collect, compare, and analyze their own research with the findings of cohorts of youth from across the country, and publish their collective work in a scholarly journal.
4. Bring the youth voice to the table by presenting their ideas, research and recommendations via traditional and social media, public and online presentations for professional conferences, public policy hearings, etc.
5. Drive the next phase of investments in youth mental health research by reviewing funding applications and making recommendations to the AIM Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the most impactful youth mental health research for the future.

AIM Ideas Lab Coaches (adult mentors: educators, therapists and facilitators) support AIM Ideas Lab Ambassadors (youth participants) in reaching more than 10,000 youth across the country. To achieve the goals described above, the AIM Ideas Lab engages in following specific activities over a 12-month period:
Months 1 - 2
1. Recruit and train educators, therapists, and facilitators as AIM Ideas Lab Coaches:
a. 2 Master-Level Educators (one bilingual) with experience in service learning, adolescent development, social/emotional learning, and psychological safety protocols for high school students. These lead educators guide program development, liaise with education partners, and oversee the AIM Ideas Lab program.
b. 3 Licensed Therapists (1 bilingual) to ensure program best practices in supporting the emotional safety of all youth participants. A therapist meet with each of the 100 - 120 groups of 10 - 15 youth participants to learn about emotional triggers and issues that may come up for them during the program.
c. 20 Group Facilitators (5 bilingual) to guide respectful Socratic dialogues in Ideas Lab (small group) sessions. Through AIM’s partnership with the High School Ethics Bowl and other youth-serving organizations, AIM selects 20 facilitators experienced in engaging high school students in meaningful dialogue.
2. The AIM Ideas Lab Coaches Identify and connect with a minimum of 50 school districts and youth organizations representing various geographic, economic, cultural, linguistic, and social groups across the US.
Months 3 - 5
1. The AIM Ideas Lab Coaches oversee the recruitment and selection of 50-75 AIM Ideas Lab Ambassadors (youth participants) from each school and/or youth organization to reach a minimum of 1,000 Ambassadors.
2. The Meeting of the Minds: The AIM Ideas Lab Coaches conduct 10 two-hour, virtual meetings, each with 100 AIM Ideas Lab Youth Ambassadors, to learn about the program, how to conduct their own research, and discover why their expertise can help drive the next phase of scientific research and treatments for youth mental health. Topics include:
a. Introduction to the Ideas Lab and their role as experts representing the diverse youth voice
b. The importance of research in youth mental health, how research drives available treatments
c. The process of gathering qualitative and quantitative information from peers
3. Assignment of Ideas Lab Teams Given that The AIM Ideas Lab is a virtual experience, the 1,000 AIM Ideas Lab
Months 6 - 9
1. Assignment of AIM Ideas Lab Facilitators and Scheduling of the Labs
a. Ideas Lab 1: The youth participants will join teams of 10 youth and two AIM facilitators to engage in a series of two-hour Socratic discourse sessions.
Months 10 - 12
1. Dissemination of findings: Ideas Lab youth will present their recommendations via webinars, social media, panel presentations, YouTube video interviews, graphic imagery, and printed material distribution.

True to its mission "to build a movement devoted to the mental health of children, teens and young adults," AIM is funding and supporting multiple promising discoveries that are leading to better treatments for youth struggling with their mental health. Through the unparalleled dedication of the AIM Board of Directors, the AIM Scientific Advisory Board, and a growing team of professional staff, AIM’s programs now have the potential to reach every child in the US with equitable access to innovative mental health treatments where and when they need it.

The AIM Ideas Lab
Using a "Nothing About Us Without Us'' approach, the AIM Ideas Lab provides a safe platform for diverse groups of youth, organized throughout the country, to discover solutions to their own mental challenges and drive the next phase of youth mental health research, treatments, and solutions. The AIM Ideas Lab is a culturally responsive, project-based Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) program that inspires teens to explore youth mental health solutions. YPAR addresses the root causes of problems and works to transform the quality of each person’s life, the environment, the community, and society as a whole. Through ongoing exploration, reflection, and action; youth researchers, organizers, and community members build community, celebrate successes, and troubleshoot challenges.

AIM Beyond COVID Program to support taking treatments virtual, reaching larger populations through telehealth and digital medicine. Highlights include:
1. Development of free, technology-delivered intervention (TDI) for youth anxiety used within formal mentoring programs like and including Big Brothers Big Sisters.
2. A collaborative eating disorders program to extend treatments using telemedicine to young people in their homes.
3. Providing youth with mindfulness skills using smartphone devices to help them disengage from patterns of overthinking to reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms concurrently.
4. Using a smartphone application to detect suicide risk in the moment and give students immediate tools and tips to help them relax, reflect, and stave off suicide attempts and self-harm.

AIM drives discussion and advocacy through Community Awareness and Ambassador programs and expands access to evidence-based solutions to reach youth in need through the AIM research programs.
With a growing mental health crisis, AIM has developed community engagement programs to
raise awareness about youth mental health including:
1. The AIM for Awareness Walk & Rally, providing a fair of mental health resources.
2. The AIM Design Challenge for Middle and High School students, which has seen thousands of entries, fostering a positive venue for youth to explore what mental health means to them, and a
3. platform free of stigma for teachers and parents to start the conversation about the importance of mental wellness.
4. The AIM Scientific Symposium

Toward Goal 1:To improve the quality, consistency, and accessibility of evidence-based treatments that address youth mental health challenges by funding and publishing research, protocols, and  meta-analyses, AIM has invested nearly $4M in clinical youth mental health research like Dr. Barbara Cornblatt’s Recognition and Prevent (RAP) program, which provides early intervention for at-risk teens. Because of AIM, this program will soon be available to adolescents nationwide. Drs. Walter Kaye and James Lock are expanding access to evidence-based treatments for eating disorders via telehealth. AIM has and is currently supporting solutions to anxiety, depression, suicide, bipolar disorder and others, with treatments now being piloted and data collected and shared.

Toward Goal 2: To raise the general knowledge and reduce the stigma associated with youth mental health, for the past 3 years, more than 400 students from all over the United States participated by designing an ad to raise awareness for youth mental health; we were impressed by the creativity and courage they put into their work. AIM alongside volunteering community members selected 15 individual ads to receive recognition for their artistic expression, and were given an award for their being selected as a winner in the ad contest categories.
All the entries were on display in exhibits and receptions including the Carmel Sunset Cultural Center in October 2019 and the other at the CSUMB Salinas City Center in March 2020. The winners were honored at these community events, where we heard from local leaders and the winning students on the importance of mental health and how to support the mental and emotional well-being of our community’s youth.

Toward Goal 3: For youth from diverse backgrounds and experiences to discover solutions to their own mental challenges and drive the next phase of youth mental health research, treatments, and solutions, the first pilot of the AIM Ideas Lab engaging 250 high school students in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties to help us uncover and effectively address emerging youth mental health issues and treatments. We anticipate reaching more than 1,000 students in 2021/22, and expanding the program to reach 10,000 annually thereafter.

Financials

AIM Youth Mental Health
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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AIM Youth Mental Health

Board of directors
as of 9/27/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

JD Susan Stilwell

Stilwell Inc.

Term: 2016 - 2022

Mark Stilwell

Pebble Beach Company

Marla Anderson

Superior Court of California

Virdette Brumm

Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula

Jessica Canning

Canning Properties Group

Catherine Hambley

LeapFrog Consulting

William Hill

Sentry Alarm Systems

Nancy Kotowski

Retired

Dean Maynard

The Maynard Group

Tara Ryan

Swrve

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/07/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability