More Collaboration Profiles


  1. Collaboration Profiles

Teenager looking at the Y2CONNECT website on a laptop

What is Y2CONNECT?

Y2CONNECT is an initiative that connects Baltimore, MD, youth to clinical and community-based programs and resources to assist them in the transition to adulthood. This comprehensive resource seeks to improve the health of young people in Baltimore City by showcasing accessible, local, youth-focused health and non-health resources. The website also provides direct access to resources and services for youth‐serving professionals, parents/guardians and other caring adults, and youth.1

In addition to maintaining the website for Baltimore youth, Y2CONNECT also aims to support other cities in building out a similar platform for their young people. Y2CONNECT is currently partnered with Boston Public Schools to help increase awareness and accessibility of resources and services for youth in Boston, MA.

Topics include:

The Need

Research has found that accessible, culturally responsive, youth-focused physical and mental health services are highly beneficial to maintaining young people’s wellbeing.2 These services are not only valuable once a young person has developed a particular mental or physical condition; prevention, early detection, treatment, and maintenance services all contribute to young people’s overall wellness.3

As young people transition into adulthood, preparation and guidance from supportive clinicians and health care providers have a strong impact on healthy youth development.4 Particularly given the exacerbated mental health challenges many young people have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, awareness of and access to local resources and systems of care are especially important components of supporting the wellbeing of today’s youth.5

The Goal

Y2CONNECT aims to bridge existing gaps in access to and use of local resources and services for youth in Baltimore, Boston, and future partner cities. The organization’s goal is to ensure equitable access to resources for all young people, including those from underrepresented backgrounds (e.g.,LGBTQIA+; Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [BIPOC]; immigrant youth), across a variety of topics, including health, school, work, volunteering, social service needs, relationships, and crisis and emergency needs.

Positive youth development requires adolescents’ connectivity to cross-sector resources (e.g., health, education, work).6 When practitioners, clinicians, and organizations collaborate through referrals and information sharing, social isolation and mental and behavioral health at the individual and community levels improve.7 Research also shows that collaboration among professionals, educators, and family members improves young people’s sense of competence and wellbeing, yet many youth-serving adults and caregivers lack the knowledge of existing services to refer youth to relevant resources in other sectors.8 As a healthcare provider himself, Y2CONNECT’s founder, Arik Marcell, M.D., M.P.H., has seen this directly. To address that gap in knowledge of cross-sector services, Y2CONNECT seeks to provide youth-serving professionals, the young people they serve, and youth caretakers with a one-stop-shop for youth-serving resources in their community.


1 Y2CONNECT. (2016). About.
2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). National guidelines for child and youth behavioral health crisis care [Publication No. PEP22-01-02-001]. Rockville, MD: Author.; Hughes, F., Hebel, L., Badcock, P., & Parker, A. G. (2018). Ten guiding principles for youth mental health services. Early intervention in psychiatry12(3), 513–519.; White, P. H., & Cooley, W. C. (2018). Supporting the health care transition from adolescence to adulthood in the medical home. Pediatrics, 142(5), e20182587. 
4 White, P. H., & Cooley, W. C. (2018). Supporting the health care transition from adolescence to adulthood in the medical home. Pediatrics, 142(5), e20182587. 
6 Marcell, A. V., Hamburger, Y., Arrington-Sanders, R., Jennings, J. M., Dittus, P. J., & Perin, J. (2023). Y2CONNECT — A digital solution to connect youth to local cross-sector resources. Poster presentation at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
7 White, K. B., Resmondo, Z. N., Jennings, J. C., Creel, L. M., & Kelly Pryor, B. N. (2022). A social network analysis of interorganisational collaboration: Efforts to improve social connectedness. Health & Social Care in the Community, 30, e6067–e6079.
8 Gettman, J., & Hill, S. B. (2022). School neuropsychology collaboration with home, school, and outside professionals. In Best Practices in School Neuropsychology (eds D. Miller, D. Maricle, C. Bedford, & J. Gettman).