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2020 / 2021

At Ryther we believe in the power of relationships. We know supportive connections between people buffer the impact of trauma and adversity, build resilience, and lay the foundation for lifelong health and well-being. In 2020 and 2021, we called on Ryther’s relationships for the strength to meet unprecedented change including a global pandemic and rising behavioral health crisis. While our work is far from done, children, youth, and families in Washington are stronger today because of our collective strength. Thank you for helping Ryther adapt, persist, and go to places other providers won’t.  


2020 and 2021 were two very challenging and unique years for all of us: a global pandemic, a long overdue racial reckoning, and political tumult.  It might seem that there was little good that happened during this time, however, that would not be the full picture.  During these two years, people made thoughtful and intentional decisions to reach out to others, to offer help and support, to practice kindness, and to be open to the ideas, experiences, and opinions of others.


After the closure of our inpatient programs, Ryther ​assessed an immediate need to shift our workforce to remote.  While much of our staff worked remotely during the early part of the pandemic, some continued to provide therapeutic services in-person ensuring a safe environment for all. The Applied Behavioral Analysis program continued to provide evidenced based therapeutic services to children diagnosed with Autism. Aspiring Youth continued to provide in-person groups and summer camps to neurodivergent young people, and our Medically Assisted Treatment team in partnership with Kaiser Permanente responded to a doubling in fentanyl-involved deaths by embedding themselves in places in the community other providers ​typically don’t go—under bridges, in ​encampments, and in homes—at a time when the city was shut down.


The closure of our city during the pandemic ​required that we expand our services to not only in-person, but virtual services as well. Through the support of our community of donors, Ryther ​not only up-graded our own technology but also received computer technology for clients and families who were unable to access the in-person therapeutic services they needed. We continue to offer telehealth and in-person services to better meet the needs ​and wants of clients during these times.


At a glance we end 2020 and 2021 in what may seem like the same place—with the cottage program still closed and much of our workforce on a hybrid model—but ​a closer look provides a broader and more complete picture. Through our various outpatient programs such as Aspiring Youth, Wrap Around with Intensive Services, Health Homes, and others, we have continued to serve over 700 young people between the ages of 2 and 24 and their families each month.


In the midst of hardship, Ryther staff continued to serve the young people in our community and are continuing our efforts to reopen the cottages by pursuing a new license which will expand the type of children we serve.  The process to obtain that license has been much more difficult than we expected, but we are continuing our efforts in hopes of having the license this year.  None of this work, nor our continued efforts to reopen the cottages would be possible without the community, without you.


Thank you for helping us make the last two years a bit brighter and more manageable for the young people in our community. If these past two years have shown us anything, it is that we are stronger together.

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