Becoming an adult is hard. For young people with mental health diagnoses, those challenges are only exacerbated. Side by Side’s TAY Space offers something different for young people navigating that difficult and sometimes lonely transition.

Located on B Street in downtown San Rafael, TAY Space is specifically designed to support youth ages 16-25 (transitional age youth, or TAY) who struggle with mental and/or emotional disorders including bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression.

Comprehensive case management is available for up to 24 clients that includes assessment, individualized treatment plans, links to needed supports and services, as well as coordinated individual therapy and psychiatric services. For the larger community – in addition to job coaching, workshops and help accessing critical resources – the TAY Space drop-in center also offers a safe place for any young person in Marin to hang out, study, play games, and take advantage of group outings like hikes and cultural outings.

One such group outing happened last week at Wine & Design , a painting studio located on Fourth Street in downtown San Rafael near TAY Space. Owner Jackie Datnow’s affinity for disadvantaged youth, recently prompted her to offer up her studio and her artistic talents to help create a mural that will hang on the wall in the TAY Space living area.

Jackie met with our youth and learned first-hand what experiences and aspects of TAY Space bring them joy and comfort – everything from a group paddle-boating excursion to board game competitions to the comfy recliner in the lounge area. Jackie put all that together and sketched the bones of a mural that the youth made their own a few days later.

TAY Space staff painted alongside the youth they work with and black and white canvases were transformed into a colorful representation of what makes this Side by Side program so special. 

The smiles of the participants and the laughter that rang through the studio that afternoon embodied the welcoming community that TAY Space creates every day, allowing our young people the necessary support to move toward future transitions with confidence.

Side by Side and TAY Space gratefully thanks Wine & Design San Rafael and Jackie Datnow for the donation of the space, as well as her time and creativity towards this project.