Anyone who thinks it is impossible to get things done quickly on Martha’s Vineyard hasn’t met the women behind the Island Wide Youth Collaborative. A scant eighteen months after this cross-agency group first formed to address the critical mental health needs of Island youth, the collaborative this week cleared their last major hurdle toward opening a dedicated center to coordinate help for kids and their families.

On Tuesday, five members of the collaborative — Juliette Fay and Nell Coogan of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Jill Robie of the YMCA, Theresa Manning of the Youth Task Force and high school adjustment counselor Amy Lilavois — were presented with a check for more than six hundred thousand dollars from the new foundation MVYouth to put up a new building across from the regional high school. Construction is scheduled to begin in May; the center could open as early as next October.

The collaborative grew out of concern about the rise in stress-related behavior among Island adolescents, including substance abuse, addiction and self-injury. Though the problems were being addressed in different ways in the schools, by the hospital and among mental health workers, it wasn’t until a small group of professionals (yes, mostly women) got together in the fall of 2013 that the gaps in service and need for coordination became urgent.

Last October the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation awarded the fledgling group a significant grant of three hundred thousand dollars a year for two years to hire case managers and provide specialized training to Island clinicians. But where to house the new initiative?

Community Services quickly took on the job of putting meat on the bones of a plan, lining up support to use three acres of land it leases from the high school, getting sign-off from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, arranging with Squash Meadow Construction to put up a modular building and finally applying for a construction grant from MVYouth. The center will include offices, a conference room and a kitchen where various professionals can meet together and with kids and their families.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday night as a bitterly cold winter continued to rage outside, the program room at the West Tisbury library was all warmth and glow as the leaders of MVYouth presented checks not only to the youth collaborative but also to Martha’s Vineyard Little League. That grant of nearly two hundred thousand dollars will help the Little Leaguers finish their badly needed regulation diamond at Penn Field in Oak Bluffs.

MVYouth is itself a new philanthropic group with a unique mission of helping Island nonprofits dedicated to youth services cross the finish line on important projects.

Bettering the lives of young people — surely that is a policy every Islander can endorse.