Transition of Youth from CAMHS to AMHS: The Experience of Dutch Mental Health Care Professionals

Poster C56, Saturday, October 22, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Therese van Amelsvoort1, Suzanne Gerritsen2, Afke Tangenbergh3, Marieke Beltman3, AnneLoes van Staa3; 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2Erasmus MC Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 3Kenniscentrum Zorginnovatie, Hogeschool Rotterdam, Netherlands

Background: Young people (aged 12 to 25) have the highest incidence and prevalence of mental illness across lifespan, and mental disorders account for almost 50% of the total disease burden among young people. Mental disease is not only a heavy burden on the adolescents themselves, there are societal costs in terms of healthcare expenditures, impaired functioning, and reduced longevity associated to it, and the health of young people shapes the health of a society. In spite of all this, access of youth to mental health services is the poorest of all age groups and a minority of young Australians (aged 16 to 24 years) who fulfill criteria for diagnosis of a mental disorder accessed professional help. Transition from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS) is often a poorly planned and experienced process as shown by studies in the UK. Also, in the Netherlands there is an increasing interest in improving transition of CAMHS and AMHS. Therefore we performed a survey amongst Dutch mental health care professionals about their experiences with transition of CAMHS to AMHS. Methods: A survey was sent to more than 3,000 mental health care professionals. The survey was completed by 518 respondents. We looked at gender, professional background, attitudes towards, and experience with the transitional process, time of transition. Results: Of 518 respondents 66% was female, 33% were employed in both CAMHS and AMHS, 25% CAMHS only, and 27% AMHS only, and 15% worked with youth 15% only. Transition took at 18 years or shortly after. Lack of coordination and responsibilites were the most experienced problems in the transitional process, as well as a lack of collaboration between CAMHS and AMHS. Recommendations formulated by the professionals included 1) flexibility of age of transition, with developmental age leading instead of biological age, 2) need for more specialist youth mental health services, and 3) less burden by financial and organizational boundaries. Conclusion: In the Netherlands, mental health care professionals experience several problems during transition from CAMHS to AMHS and there is an urgent need for improvement.

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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