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.

Quarterly Message from our Executive Director

Happy New Year to all our friends and supporters!

It’s been a year of challenges at the Youth Development Clinic as we’ve transitioned leadership, and with that, our central focus to building our core business – our community clinic. We are concurrently focusing on rebuilding and re-branding our community-based partnerships and our relationships with funders in order to put us on solid footing to carry our mission forward.  

That mission is an important and worthy one – to provide high quality, evidence-based, and culturally-informed services to an underserved population. Due to our community outreach efforts, the quality of our clinicians, and our high level of client satisfaction, we have doubled the number of clients that we are able to see at the clinic. We continue to grow rapidly, expanding our clinic hours to include Fridays, as well as looking at adding additional space to our clinic as we reach capacity.  

With our growth, we have hired several new clinicians, expanding our ability to provide services to Creole and Portuguese families while maintaining our strong Bi-lingual/Spanish services and sensitivity to the cultural and systems factors which underlie our work with African-American families.   

Our ability to deliver on this mission is bolstered by our relationships with Montclair State University and other academic institutions. This coming year, one of our goals is to partner with university faculty to identify and implement cutting-edge treatments and interventions in our clinic and school-based settings. We also continue our strong externship program that trains doctoral-level students to develop skills to work effectively with underserved populations.  

In an effort to increase accessibility to mental health services to children and families, we have established our first school-based, Medicaid-approved clinic in a K-5 school in Newark. This is an exciting achievement in that we will be able to not only work with students, but with families, almost all of which are in walking distance of the school. We hope to replicate this model going forward.

Other school-based services that we provide include supporting student behaviors conducive to learning while working with teachers on classroom management and developing more positive interactions with students. We currently provide services in three K-8 schools and one K-3 school in Newark.  

Needless to say, this is all possible only with the continued support of our funders. Thank you to all who lend support to our mission. If you are able to contribute, your time or financial support is most welcome and appreciated. As of this year, it’s been 60 years since our founding. Let’s continue to make a difference – together – for another 60!

Mark Kitzie, PsyD
Executive Director
Youth Development Clinic