According to a project supported with funding from the Champlain Local Health Integrated Network and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, approximately 70 per cent of all psychiatric disorders first present in childhood or adolescence. In spite of that, the transition from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS) is fragmented, posing serious risk to continuity of care. At a time when young adults are most vulnerable, the mental health system is the most fractured.
The project conducted a literature scan to identify bodies of evidence that illustrate effective transitional pathways from CAMHS to AMHS. This information was then shared with a panel of policy officials from a variety of places and with a variety of roles and included representation from the Ontario provincial ministries of health, education, children and youth services and training, colleges and universities. The panel then participated in a discussion on youth mental health transitions, and thematic analysis was used to help identify policy and practice- level considerations.
Through this process, a “Shared Management Framework” was selected as the preferred policy model and practice-level recommendations were identified. The authors also recommended that continued research be done to determine the appropriateness of this approach for all stakeholders involved in youth mental health transitions.
To read the article, “We Suffer from Being Lost”: Formulating Policies to Reclaim Youth in Mental Health Transitions”, go to www.longwoods.com.