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Paving the Way for Smooth Transitions: Continuity of Care from Child to Adult Mental Health Systems

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There is a significant lack of programs and supports for youth transitioning from the child to adult mental health systems in BC. At the age of 19, youth age out of the child and youth mental health system without the proper supports and resources to smoothly transition into adult services. Though there has been significant discussion about what can be done provincially to address this issue, there has been limited discussion of how to address the issue at the regional level in BC. With this in mind, a series of policy options were developed that can be implemented through the Regional Health Authorities in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health). Systemic level changes are identified and included in this project; however, the focus of this project is on micro-level programs and policies that can be adopted regardless of the implementation of the systemic level changes. The policy options are based on transition programs developed in other jurisdictions. Background information and evidential support for the policies were provided from the 2015 National Consensus Conference for Emerging Adults, sponsored by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and from expert interviews. This project recommends a Transition Coordinator Pilot Project, in addition to adoption of systemic changes in the long term.
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