top of page
Kids Running

M.I.K.I.D. History

Serving Arizona and Colorado Communities for over 35 years!

History Overview

M.I.K.I.D.’s history grew from one individual’s overwhelming concern for the lack of services provided for children in the mental health field, the many serious issues that were not being properly addressed, and a relentless passion to see that her child could receive needed services when and where they were needed. This individual, Ms. Sue Gilbertson, began her quest in 1984 when her son, Eric, was diagnosed with mental illness. In trying to get assistance for her son, Ms. Gilbertson found herself amidst a conventional medical community that was simply not equipped to handle the problems her son was facing. She was confronted with a community she felt was indifferent and uncooperative to her needs.

Family At Church
green circle
orange shape
a couple

In the Beginning

Ms. Gilbertson later came to realize that her struggles were not isolated events. She met other families facing similar situations in requesting help for their children who had behavior health challenges. Ms. Gilbertson took on the responsibility of uniting these families and worked together with them to build a better mental health system for their children. Through the efforts of Ms. Gilbertson, families had their very first support group on March 11, 1987. This 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 AZ.


M.I.K.I.D.’s mission is to improve the behavioral health and wellness of children and youth through a family-centered approach. We employ over 150 professionally trained staff offering an array of services to families of children with emotional and behavioral challenges. M.I.K.I.D. provides education, resources, and support throughout Arizona and, most recently, Colorado. Our programs focus on developing skills, networks, and readiness to manage their own physical and mental health for the youth and their families. 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. Our services include youth 0-25 years old who have mental health issues. M.I.K.I.D. services are unique in that the staff providing many of these services are family members, parents, and young adults who have personal lived experience in dealing with behavioral health needs. We require all staff who provide services to the parents we serve to have lived experience.  M.I.K.I.D. focuses on supporting and educating youth and families with developing coping skills. 

Young Family
Image by Fabian Centeno

M.I.K.I.D. is a non-profit, licensed Outpatient Clinic, Family-Run organization in Arizona and Colorado and contracts with all the AHCCCS Complete Care Health Plans, Regional Behavioral Health Authorities (RBHAs) and several of our Indian Communities. M.I.K.I.D. currently has out-patient offices throughout Arizona in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Casa Grande, Nogales, Kingman, Bullhead City, Sierra Vista and Pueblo, Colorado. In addition, M.I.K.I.D. offers in-home and community supports as well as prevention education to communities across the state. M.I.K.I.D. is a member of several organizations: The State Chapter of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, NAMI Arizona, the Arizona Council of Human Service Providers, Mental Health Awareness Coalition, and PAFCO (Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition). M.I.K.I.D. staff participate in local and State level committees and task forces throughout the communities we serve.

bottom of page