As we prepare to bid adieu to 2013, I am filled with gratitude for the wonderful welcome and community involvement GPS received throughout our first year of operation as a new family support organization!  From our official launch in April to December’s wonderfully fun-filled, pre-holiday, family movie night, 2013 delivered on all of its many opportunities to engage King County parents, children and youth.

Looking back over 2013 and highlights such as the parenting classes held in August, September and October,  April’s family fitness event,  May’s panel on underage drinking, July’s picnic, November’s youth forum and December’s movie night, I greet the New Year with much excitement and hope.  I am hopeful that stigma and isolation will decrease as an outcome of the continuance and expansion of community dialogue resulting from the 2012 tragedy in Newtown, CT and the 16 shootings that have taken place since December 14, 2012.  I am hopeful that hospitalization, long-term institutionalization in psychiatric facilities, and placements in the foster care and juvenile justice systems for youth with serious mental illness will decrease, as a result of the development and provision of intensive, individualized mental health services to Medicaid-eligible young people in their homes and communities in Washington. I hope that, as a result of the work we do together, ALL children and youth who struggle with behavioral, emotional or substance abuse challenges find appropriate services and programs to prevent adverse outcomes. And, I have highest hopes for the continued success of parent peer support and its potential to positively influence parents’ ability to advocate for their families, navigate systems of care, and develop and strengthen skills in self-care.

On behalf of the GPS Board and staff, I express deepest gratitude to you for cheering and championing our efforts in 2013! Wishing you a healthy and happy 2014 and looking forward to continuing this vital journey alongside you!


Highlights of 2013

      GuidedPathways Grant Check  Amerigroup awards $2,000 grant for first GPS Youth Forum.

L to R, GPS Executitve Director Susan Millender, Parent Partners Janice Schutz and Zakia Ruquiya, with Amerigroup Health Promotion Manager Torri Canda.

   GPSYouthForumNov 22 2013More than 33 participants joined in GPS’s Speak IT Out Youth Forum, November 22, 2013 at Kent Commons.

  Little One Leads Line DanceGPS joined other King County youth- and family-serving agencies in sponsoring the 2013

Partners in Health Annual Picnic at Renton’s Coulon Park.

  Movie NightPizza with friends and families made GPS’s movie night extra special, December 8, 2013 in Burien.