Mental health service transitions for young people
Planning and practice in transition: Introduction
Policy emphasises the importance of establishing clear pathways for the different types of mental health needs presented by young people. Delivering good practice will include the development of effective partnerships, which involve service users, take account of the needs of black and minority ethnic communities and provide services via buildings that are accessible and age appropriate.(p 8) (17)
Begin planning as early as you can, and at least six months before the discharge from CAMHS, as well as managing realistic expectations for the input from adult services.
Transition is a process that requires:
- an early start (assessment of needs)
- a discharge from CAMHS and possibly a transfer to AMHS or other secondary adult services, with transitional support which may include a period of parallel care
- a transition plan for continuity of support into adulthood, and for early intervention if greater need arises
- follow-up of outcomes.
The TRACK study18 defines the best transition services as those which feature:
- effective information transfer (e.g. referral letters and case notes, and written information for the young person
- a period of parallel care and joint working between CAMHS and AMHS or other services
- transition planning with at least one meeting including the young person, parent/carer, CAMHS, AMHS and other services
- continuity of care (from AMHS or elsewhere) at least three months after transition.