A Beacon of Hope for Every Kid

With a mission to revolutionize children’s mental and behavioral health support, M.I.K.I.D. (Mentally Ill Kids In Distress), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, stands as a beacon of hope for families grappling with these challenges. With a steadfast commitment to a family-centered approach, M.I.K.I.D. has not only become the largest family-run organization in the Valley but they have expanded their footprint to encompass eight locations across Arizona, including Phoenix, Sierra Vista, Nogales, Casa Grande, Yuma, Tucson, Bullhead, and Kingman. In addition, the organization has extended its reach to Pueblo County, Colorado, providing services in more than 100 cities and towns in both states.


Uniting Families and Providing Hope

M.I.K.I.D.’s history stemmed from one individual’s overwhelming concern for the lack of services provided for children in the mental health field and the various serious issues that were not being properly addressed. Motivated by her son Eric’s mental illness diagnosis, Sue Gilbertson discovered a conventional medical community ill-equipped to manage the unique challenges her family faced. Realizing her struggles were not isolated, she founded M.I.K.I.D. with the mission of uniting families to build a more effective mental health system for children.

She met other families facing similar situations in requesting help for their children who had behavioral health challenges. She took on the responsibility of uniting these families and worked together with them to build a better mental health system for their children.

Through these efforts, families had their very first support group on March 11, 1987, which led to the formation of M.I.K.I.D.

The organization focused on supporting families, and advocating at the State legislature and State Agencies for improving the children’s behavioral health system. As the funding for Family Support grew in the AZ Children’s Behavioral Health System, M.I.K.I.D. grew exponentially with a focus on rural areas of Arizona.


What sets M.I.K.I.D. apart?

It’s their distinctive status as a family-run organization. Over 70% of M.I.K.I.D.’s staff and 51% of its board members have personal experience with behavioral health challenges within their own families. This firsthand understanding empowers M.I.K.I.D. to offer unparalleled support for parents navigating the intricacies of the care systems, while simultaneously helping youth develop coping mechanisms to thrive and evolve into stable, self-sufficient, and successful adults. M.I.K.I.D. helps children, teens, and young adults, ranging in age from birth to 25 years.

Patrick Winters, VP of Marketing and Development said, “One of the services we provide is a program called Parent Support Now or (PSN). This program helps reunite parents and kiddo’s that have been separated by the Arizona Department of Child Safety by walking them through the processes of reunification. M.I.K.I.D. helps these families create safe and loving homes where children can thrive, ensuring that our families can stay together.”

He added, “The program has shown great success in reducing the length of time that children and families are separated from one another. As a matter of fact, M.I.K.I.D. is now serving 323 families via the PSN program, with 59 percent of those families reuniting in less than six months. This is incredible considering the National Average of Reunification is currently only 18% according to the 2023 Department of Health Services Fact Sheet.” (https://www.dhs.gov/news/2023/02/02/fact-sheet)


Lived Experience

Today, M.I.K.I.D. employs over 150 trained staff offering support, education, and skills development to families and their children as well as youth and young adults who are experiencing mental health and behavior challenges.

This is accomplished through M.I.K.I.D. staff providing one-on-one family support, transitional age youth services, peer support, health promotion, support groups, training and education, both individual and community-based living skills, respite, and connecting families and individuals with natural supports in the community.

M.I.K.I.D.’s approach is grounded in the focus of assisting families and youth to have a strong and respected voice in the services they receive, the systems that provide services to them, and their community at large. These services are unique because many of the staff are family members, parents, and young adults who have personal “lived experience” in dealing with behavioral health needs. M.I.K.I.D. requires all staff who provide services to the parents we serve to have “lived experience”.


M.I.K.I.D. Annual Winter Benefit

Concert Needs Support

M.I.K.I.D.’s Winter Benefit Concert takes center stage as its premier fundraising event, playing a pivotal role in sustaining the organization’s mission. The concert, a night of music and inspiration composed by the renowned pianist and speaker Eric Genius, serves as a testament to M.I.K.I.D.’s dedication. All proceeds from the event contribute directly to supporting families and children facing mental health challenges.

To register or become a sponsor, visit:

www.mikid.org/winterbenefit  (see ad page 3)

Dorrance Theater, 2835 East Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034


M.I.K.I.D. is hiring

To further strengthen its impact, M.I.K.I.D. is actively seeking enthusiastic individuals to join the team. The organization offers competitive pay, a 401k match up to 6%, and affordable health, dental, and vision insurance. Career opportunities are open for those eager to make a tangible difference in the lives of children and families navigating mental health challenges.

For those interested in learning more about M.I.K.I.D., volunteering, or exploring career opportunities, please contact M.I.K.I.D. at (602) 253-1240 or visit their website at https://www.mikid.org

Join M.I.K.I.D. in their mission to champion the mental and behavioral well-being of children and youth through a compassionate, family-centered approach.