Creating Seamless Transition of Services for Young Adults

What is seamless transition?

Seamless transition is the continuity of physical and behavioral healthcare as a teen ages past eligibility for services for children. The process is not simple, however. A seamless transition requires years of preparation, and parents, youth, and healthcare providers must work together. Beginning in childhood, they should take a coordinated, purposeful, planned, and patient-centered approach.  Furthermore, parents and care providers must gradually move responsibility and authority for healthcare decisions to the youth. Ultimately, the young person should be established with adult services by the time they enter adulthood.

The Challenge

Too often, however, young adults don’t have this kind of smooth transition.  In LOHF’s Needs Assessment, parents and key caregivers showed that teens moving into adulthood have the greatest need for behavioral and mental health services. Persons age 14 to 26 years old experience the largest gap in care. Limited to no services are available as teens age out of child coverage and access. As a result, by age 18 or 21, access to behavioral healthcare abruptly stops. Many young adults must navigate a new and unfamiliar healthcare system without professional coordination. The process is so challenging that there is a significant disruption in care. In fact, many abandon treatment altogether.

Our Goal

Our vision is for all Lancaster County children and youth to experience mental wellbeing. We facilitate access to behavioral healthcare for them by providing grants, nurse scholarships, provider education, and resources. Since our Children’s Behavioral Health Grants program began in 2015, one of our priorities has been to support programs that promote seamless transition of youth. However, we have not received any grant requests to address the challenge.

Join the Movement for Change

Here’s how you can learn more and get involved:

  • Join us for a discussion with our current and past grantees on Oct. 10, 2018, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. It will be held at LOHF, 128 E. Grant St., Lancaster, PA, 17602. View map and parking information here. Please RSVP to akennedy@lohfoundation.org.
  • Learn about LOHF Children’s Behavioral Health Grants and apply.

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