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The Department of Mental Health Transition Age Youth (TAY) Initiative helps young persons embark on a positive life path into adulthood and toward the goals of personal stability, community housing and employment and positive youth and family relationships.

The focus is on young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 who are transitioning out of child/adolescent agency services and into adults services or into the community, including young adults entering the DMH adult service system for the first time, as well as those aging out of foster care or juvenile justice.

It is well documented that the transition period for youth struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties is fraught with unique challenges. Among these are greater risk for school failure, involvement with correctional authorities and sometimes a dependency on social services.

The DMH State Mental Health Planning Council responded to these concerns by establishing the Youth Development Committee (YDC) co-chaired by two young adults and comprised of many collaborators to address these particular issues. Today the YDC serves as the Initiative's Advisory Board and is augmented by a Statewide Young Adult Council, two Statewide Young Adult Coordinators and Local Young Adult Area Councils.

A system of transition age programming had been built upon the DMH Child/Adolescent and Adult systems and has adopted the following guiding principles:

  • Youth Voice (including those who are racially, ethnically and culturally diverse) will guide system development through relationship development, person-centered planning and a focus on the future.
  • Priority development of evaluated promising practices that focus on rehabilitation/recovery and skill development in identified key domains.
  • Collaboration with community resources.
  • Readily available access to health care and treatment, educational entitlements and peer mentoring, rehabilitation and recovery programming, vocational and social skill development and housing and employment support.
  • Culturally responsive family psycho-education, training and support.
  • Program outcome tracking and monitoring.

Included here are the resources and tools available for young adults, their families and anyone interested in supporting transition age youth.

This information is provided by the Department of Mental Health.