Quarterly Message from YDC Executive Director Mark Kitzie, PsyD


As we approach our 60th anniversary this November, it is worthwhile to pause and reexamine our roots.  In 1958, the Youth Development Clinic of Newark was incorporated with the support of Prudential Insurance Co. and the Newark Board of Education. The original statement of purpose is below: 

“To maintain a service or clinic to which Newark children under the age of 21 years, and adults from Service Area 4 may apply or be referred for diagnosis, case treatment of and for mental emotional disturbances or illnesses; to assist by every lawful means the dissemination of information regarding the work of the said service and/or clinic; to work in cooperation with other agencies and individuals interested in the welfare of children toward the end that the mental health of all persons: in the community, and particularly of its children, shall be safeguarded and promoted; and to foster interest among its members and throughout said community in, and develop supports for, the work of the clinic in order to increase its scope and effectiveness”. 

The YDC office was originally located at 990 Broad Street then moved to 303-309 Washington Street, then to Columbia Street, and after being displaced to make room for the Prudential Center, to its present location at 500 Broad Street.  

Today, we find ourselves in a very different climate, but the main tenets of our original mission remain: to provide high-quality mental health services to the children and families of Newark and deliver these services in community settings. Just as our mission has little changed, we have reclaimed our original name: Youth Development Clinic of Newark, which provides important continuity and name recognition.   

We continue to “keep the mission alive” through a renewed emphasis on serving clients with Medicaid insurance, as well as clients referred by child protective services in our community-based mental health clinic.  In fact, demand has increased to the extent that we are looking at securing additional space to accommodate rapidly increasing numbers of children and families requesting services.  In addition, we are working in five Newark schools to provide behavioral and mental health support to students.   

Thanks to all our funders and supporters – you’re needed more now than ever.  Also, thank you to our extraordinary and highly capable group of clinicians and administrators who are passionate about the work we do.  Finally, I hope that you will continue to consider yourself as part of the “YDC family”.  Here’s to continuing to grow and adapt for another 60 years! 

Mark Kitzie, PsyD
Executive Director
Youth Development Clinic of Newark

YDC Stories: How Treatment Can Make Significant Differences in Patients’ Lives

Important note: Patient names and any other potentially identity-revealing information has been changed.

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Referred by his school, Javier needed ways to cope and concentrate in an overwhelming environment.

A shy yet vibrant 6-year-old who was diagnosed with both autism spectrum disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Javier was referred to the Youth Development Clinic due to behavioral concerns at school.

News of Javier’s in-school difficulties came as a surprise to his mother, who reported that at home and in other settings, he was doing quite well and was, in fact, making strides. But the school environment was different – and it was difficult for Javier, which is not uncommon for children who experience challenges like his. They’re often overstimulated in school and have weaknesses in terms of emotional regulation and social skills (only adding to the stress of it all).

At the clinic, one of our clinicians used a patient and structured behavior modification approach with Javier, helping him gain improved coping skills, attention, and concentration. He was also able to increasingly verbally express his emotions. Though a quiet child in general, his communicativeness increased throughout his time at YDC. He was able to meet all of the established treatment goals and significantly decrease instances of behavioral issues in school.


Brittany worked hard to heal and gain self-confidence during her time at YDC.

After being discharged from a local medical center due to severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide, Brittany – in her teens – was referred for therapy with our experienced clinicians. One such clinician working with Brittany identified two major treatment goals: 1) decrease frequency and intensity of feelings of sadness and anxiety to no more than once per week, and 2) develop a more positive view of the self by reducing feelings of unworthiness and replacing them with beliefs that were more realistic and positive.

By the end of her treatment, Brittany displayed significant improvement in both areas, demonstrating sincere feelings of self-satisfaction and an ability to engage in positive peer relationships – something she did not feel worthy of just a short time before. She reported experiencing feelings of despair and anxiety far less often, in large part due to techniques like positive self-talk, mindfulness, and dialectical behavior therapy techniques, which she was able to apply consistently in order to stay healthy. By the end of her treatment at YDC, she no longer reported suicidal thoughts and was much better equipped to manage typical stressors, having built sustainable social supports.  


Learn more about our in-clinic, outpatient services in Newark, NJ.