notMYkid

In response to the pandemic, notMYkid hosts sessions of their virtual mentoring program “amplif[i]MYlife” online.

Scottsdale-based nonprofit notMYkid needs to raise critical funds to support Arizona youth and is hosting the Brighter Days Ahead golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale May 7 to achieve that goal.

All proceeds support the nonprofit’s mental health education and programs for youth and families in need.

“We have decided to postpone our annual gala until April 29, 2022, and know in our hearts that brighter days are ahead,” said Kristen Polin, CEO of notMykid. “The golf tournament will be a fun way to bring our community together in a safe and socially distanced manner.”

The golf tournament kicks off at 7:30 a.m. and will include lunch and an awards ceremony.

In addition to on-course hospitality, food, drinks, and fun, the event will feature a variety of prizes, including a foursome at Wickenburg Ranch Golf Club, two Titleist wedge clubs, a foursome at TPC, a certificate for four new tires at Discount Tire and more. 

Tickets cost one for $40, three for $100, and 10 for $300. 

“Resilience, flexibility, and creativity have become the norm for our organization as we navigate a global pandemic,” Polin said.

Founded in 2000, notMYkid offers peer-to-peer programs that include behavioral health prevention education for youth, parents and educators; corporate employee wellness programs; and leadership workshops for youth.

However, because the pandemic severely impacted kids’ emotional and mental well-being, the nonprofit radically changed the way it provides services.

It launched web-based prevention programs and one-on-one peer support via TeleHealth.

“All our social research tells us substance abuse, depression, and suicide are exacerbated by isolation and disruption of normal routines in our youth,” Polin said. “Our need to help is urgent.”

Last April, Polin said the nonprofit experienced a “massive disruption” to their programs.

They also lost a project $400,000 from the cancellation of their annual fundraiser-celebration of their 20th anniversary. 

“Our peer prevention specialists were on the front lines helping teens and families in need before all of this came to a crashing halt, just as their need has dramatically increased given the school closings and shutting down of everyday normal life as we know it,” Polin said. 

So, notMYkid moved its signature amplif(i) program online, where participants had the ability to join presentations, classes and meetings from any device.  

Additionally, the nonprofit also moved online its Project Rewind program, which supports families experiencing confronting teen drug and alcohol abuse.

It also began offering their one-on-one coaching support via video conferencing instead of via face-to-face meetings for parents.

“The need for our services is greater now than ever before,” said Seth Leibsohn, notMYkid board chairman. 

At the time, notMYkid’s goal for 2020 was to support 100,000 young people and adults in Arizona through web-based platforms.

And through the end of this year, notMYkid’s goal is to increase its capacity using cutting-edge technology-assisted care, peer-to-peer mentoring and stronger partnerships with local healthcare partners and schools. 

“Mental and physical health, depression and drug abuse are not separate issues from food, shelter and other health concerns. They are both drivers and consequences of it,” Leibsohn said. “Many teens are experiencing trauma, anxiety, depression and unfortunately that leads to substance abuse and suicide rates rising to epidemic levels.”

The nonprofit recently launched a new outpatient treatment center called Arizona Youth Thriving.

According to Polin, the nonprofit’s team believed it was time to do more and be more for families that need notMYkid’s support. 

“Families looking for mental health services can find help and hope through our telehealth programs or safely in person, regardless of their ability to pay,” Polin said.

The new treatment center was supported by a $25,000 donation from Thunderbird Charities.

“notMYkid is providing tools to vulnerable youth and families to help empower, strengthen and thrive,” said Tim Woods, president of Thunderbirds Charities. “We are happy to support their efforts in our community.”

“Thanks to this generous grant from Thunderbirds Charities, over 50 additional families will now have a place to heal and receive quality care and support for mental health and substance use disorders,” Polin added. 

“Thunderbird Charities is helping our dreams become a reality as we expand to become a full continuum provider of prevention, early intervention, and treatment services.”

Following the $1,500 donation from Fiesta Bowl Charities earlier this month on Arizona Gives Day, the nonprofit continues to seek support for its programs.

Tournament registration and more information: notmykid.org