A new test program has been launched in Ottawa for transitioning youth with mental health conditions to adult services. The program targets youth between the ages of 16 and 24, who are at risk of abandoning psychiatric care because of the fragmentation in the system when moving from child to adult services. During this transitional stage, young adults can be left without adequate supports in place.
To address this issue, a group of mental health professionals (both adult and youth providers) recently proposed a new model of care involving a transitional team that would help their clients navigate the transition and improve their experience of the health system. In December, 2010, the Champlain LHIN approved funding for a 15-month pilot program.
Under this new program, up to 115 young people will be referred to a Transition coordinator over the next 18 months. The Transition Coordinator will work with each young person to design a treatment plan that would cater to their specific needs as they move from the youth system to the adult system. Since the program began two months ago, 32 young people have enrolled.
The project receives referrals from officials at the region’s major mental health service providers. Health officials are also trying to get schools, universities and colleges involved in the program because the education system plays a key role in supporting youth who have a mental illness.
The program receives $145,000 in funding from the Champlain Local Health Integration Network and will also include a program evaluation component.
For more information go to: www.ottawacitizen.com.