Effectiveness of Health System Services and Programs for Youth to Adult Transitions in Mental Health Care: A Systematic Review of Academic Literature
The ability of state child mental health (MH) systems to facilitate the transition to adulthood of adolescents in their systems was studied by interviewing members of the Children, Youth and Families Division of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD). Results demonstrated that transition services within the state child MH systems are sparse, nationally. Continuity of services as youth age into adulthood is hampered because of generally separate child and adult MH systems, each with separate policies defining who accesses those services, lack of clarity about procedures to access adult MH services, and lack of shared client planning between adult and child MH systems. These findings suggest that adolescents in state child MH systems have difficulty accessing services that will help them with the difficult task of learning to function as an adult. Public MH systems should examine their capacity to provide transition supports and make needed improvements.