What is the system challenge?

Transitioning into adulthood can be a challenging time for any youth, but these years are especially difficult for youth with mental health and addiction challenges. In London-Middlesex, all too often transition-aged youth (aged 16-24) have difficulty transitioning into adult mental health and addiction services, due to a lack of inter-connectivity and unclear service pathways – causing them to miss out on crucial services and supports.

What are we doing about it?

In December 2015, a diverse group of community partners in London-Middlesex came together for a “Moving on Mental Health Collective Impact Summit.” Community partners agreed that better transition pathways into the right adult mental health and addiction services were needed, and that they must be coordinated, clear and efficient.

The Transitional Age Protocol Community Implementation Team (TAPCIT) was first established, and then a TAPCIT working group was convened to use an evidence-based approach to improving youth transitions. The  working group, with 15 members representing different mental health and addiction agencies in London-Middlesex, chose Vanier Children’s Services, the Transitional Age Project at London Health Science Centre, and CAMH to co-chair the working group.

Importantly, TAPCIT also includes youth representatives: the community recognizes that, to be a success, a youth transition protocol requires the active input of the people affected by the protocol. 

The working group learned that three other regions in Ontario are already confronting similar service transition problems by adapting findings from a large U.K. study on effective transition pathways. The working group is now developing a youth transition protocol tailored to London-Middlesex that uses the UK study and the implementation experiences of the other regions in Ontario.

The group aims to improve:

  • transfers of client information;
  • communication between agencies; and 
  • collaboration among the people involved (including youth, youth agencies, and adult agencies)

Project Implementation Progress

?What's this?

Initial Implementation

When a draft protocol and accompanying resources have been drafted, they will be pilot tested in the community. The TAPCIT Working Group will identify a small number of agencies as protocol pilot sites and will develop tailored agency-level action plans to assist with implementation and evaluation. 

Recently, Oxford and Elgin counties have expressed interest in joining the development and implementation of this protocol. 

Who is involved?

TAPCIT aims to be inclusive. As a result, its members reflect a broad range of sectors, organizations, and impacted individuals, including:

  • children’s mental health;
  • adult mental health;
  • Catholic and public school boards;
  • youth justice;
  • hospital inpatient and ambulatory service;
  • University of Western Ontario;             
  • youth and adult addiction services;
  • community counseling services;
  • peer-driven community agencies;
  • youth representatives (those impacted by the protocol). 

Next Steps

January-March 2018: A draft protocol and accompanying materials will be pilot tested.

January-March 2018: A video to raise awareness about the protocol will be produced.

April 2018: The protocol will be launched and implemented within the region.