What is the system challenge?

The transition to adulthood can be challenging for any youth, but this period is especially difficult for young people with mental health and addiction problems. In London-Middlesex, transitional-age youth (age 16-24) too often have difficulty making a move into adult mental health and addiction services, leading them to miss out on crucial services and supports. This system challenge is commonly caused by a lack of connectivity between services and to unclear service pathways.

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. The partners agreed that the community needed to improve transition pathways for youth so that youth were better able to access appropriate adult mental health and addiction services and that these pathways should be clear, coordinated, and efficient.

The community partners initially established the Transitional Age Protocol Community Implementation Team (TAPCIT) and then this team convened a TAPCIT working group to use evidence to improve youth transitions. The working group included 15 members representing different mental health and addiction agencies in London-Middlesex and chose three organizations as its co-chairs: Vanier Children’s Services; the Transitional Age Project at London Health Science Centre; and CAMH.

The partners recognized from the beginning that a youth transition protocol required the active input of the people it was to serve to be a success. So, importantly, TAPCIT included youth representatives.

The TAPCIT working group learned from three other regions in Ontario that were already confronting similar service transition problems. In particular, these regions were adapting findings from TRACK, a large U.K. study on effective transition pathways. The working group subsequently developed a youth transition protocol tailored to London-Middlesex, Oxford, and Elgin that utilizes the results of the TRACK study and the implementation experiences of the three other regions in Ontario.

TAPCIT aimed to improve:

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

Project Implementation Progress

?What's this?

Full Implementation

TAPCIT launched the new protocol and its accompanying resources in March 2019. Agency-level implementation coaching for service providers is ongoing. The team is also evaluating the implementation and service user experience.

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).

For more information, please contact:

Beth Powell, Implementation Specialist