Photo of Lori Butterworth, AIM's CEO

“The heartbreaking reality is that we have yet to uncover the emotional and psychosocial impact COVID-related fear and isolation have had on our children and teens,” said Butterworth. “In fact, last year, when COVID threatened the lives of older adults and those with complex medical conditions, our youth sacrificed their own freedom to protect the COVID vulnerable. They paid a heavy price to protect others, missing school, their friends, and the essential elements of human connection necessary for their own healthy development. Now, as we emerge from COVID, it’s time to focus our attention on healing the emotional wounds of our children.”

With Butterworth at the helm, AIM  is uniquely positioned to address the burgeoning and emerging youth mental health crisis. She brings two decades of experience in boldly addressing issues critical to the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. Butterworth has earned multiple regional and national awards for building organizations and movements that improve the quality of life for children including the Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition of California, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, Camp Heart & Hands, and the Youth City Council. She has also spearheaded groundbreaking legislation and published research to expand access to care for children and youth and support those who love and care for them.

AIM founder and board chair, Susan Stilwell, is thrilled to welcome Butterworth, “With Lori onboard, AIM will continue its laser-focused strategy to find and fund innovative clinical research, pilot new discoveries and models of care, and help us close the gap between research and practice.”

Since 2014, AIM Youth Mental Health has invested nearly $4M in groundbreaking research to address anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, aggression, suicidality, post-traumatic stress, and eating disorders, as well as efforts to break through the stigma associated with youth mental health challenges.

Even amid an unprecedented crisis in youth mental health, Butterworth is optimistic, “AIM is well-positioned to leverage investments of time, resources, and expertise to directly improve the mental health of children now. With some of the most cutting-edge AIM-funded projects ready to be piloted, we will bring new, evidence-based treatments directly to youth in Monterey County and then expand regionally and nationally.”

Stilwell shares the optimism, “The Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Board, staff, and volunteers are looking forward to working with Lori toward achieving AIM’s vision of a world of mentally healthy youth.”

Welcome, Lori! We are so excited to have you on board.