Youth Services

Youth Services

The Youth Services Program offers flexible, creative programming to meet the needs of young people with emotional, developmental, or behavioral challenges. By providing opportunities for support, socialization, and recreation, the program works to keeps youth living happy, healthy lives in their homes and communities. Programs include:

Saturday Respite Recreation Program
12:00-4:00PM @ YMCA of Ithaca & Tompkins County
(Saturdays throughout the school year)
Youth facing mental health/developmental challenges, as well as their siblings (regardless of diagnosis) are eligible to attend our program at the Y. MHATC staff and interns supervise youth, maintaining at minimum a 1:5 staff-to-youth ratio, and participants have access to a variety of activities, including swimming, racquetball, basketball, billiards, and indoor as well as outdoor play structures. The program is free of cost.



Teen Group
5:00pm-6:30pm on Thursdays at the Mental Health Association
A free, weekly drop-in group for teens, Teen Group provides an opportunity for adolescents to meet peers, have fun and socialize in a safe and healthy manner, and share their experiences, struggles and successes with one another. A small meal is provided.




Kids First Summer Day Camp

Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm
Kids First is a 6-week day-camp program offered each summer, providing youth with games, crafts, field trips, educational guest speakers, and daily trips to Cass Park Pool for swimming. Kids First is unique due to the high level of training for staff and a higher ratio of counselors to youth than a typical camp, allowing greater flexibility and support for participants. Cost is determined by the family’s financial need and funding available.

2018 Kids First Registration Packet

2018 Kids First Payment Information and Scholarship Application


Young Adults Group
Young Adults Group is a new group at the Jenkins Center geared towards young people ages 18-29, exploring the challenges and joys of entering adulthood, and how young adults can find voice to empower themselves, their peers, and make an impact on the systems level. This group meets Friday afternoons from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

Additional Programs of Interest:
Trainings that benefit youth and families are also offered in conjunction with our Community Education program, which offers training in Youth Mental Health First Aid and the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. See our Community Education page for more information.

To learn more about Youth Services at MHATC, contact Melanie Little at