Early intervention for transitional aged youth with concurrent mental health and substance use disorders: Program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Poster A3, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Gretchen L. Conrad1,2, Nicholas Schubert1, Andrew B. Lumb1, Jen Daley1, Sibel Erturk1, Mallory L. Campbell1, Kyle McBride1, Amelia Nelson1, Timothy D. Moran1,2; 1The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, 2The University of Ottawa

Transitional Aged Youth (TAY; aged 16-25) are more likely to have mental health and substance use disorders, and to receive first diagnoses of severe and chronic mental health disorders than any other age group. This represents a unique opportunity for early intervention on a broad scope of mental health and substance use problems. Historically, TAY faced significant barriers accessing developmentally appropriate services, and a need for more services addressing their unique needs still exists. The Transitional Aged Youth Service was developed to address these service gaps in Eastern Ontario, Canada. Development and implementation were informed through a regional needs assessment, including a survey of 134 community programs (72% response rate), and focus groups with community partners (n=22) and with youth and family members (n=8). The TAY Service provides long-term, multidisciplinary care for moderate-severe concurrent disorders. Clients (n=102) completed self-report measures upon intake and at multiple follow-ups. Clinical information was collected via chart review. Results reveal a high burden of concurrent disorders among clients. Preliminary outcome data shows improvements in mental health and drug use severity (ps < .05). Clients show a high level of engagement as demonstrated by high attendance rates, averaging 76%. Community agencies with established partnerships report high levels of satisfaction with the services and relationships, which have resulted in increased system capacity. High referral-rates confirm the need for these services. Findings highlight the importance for early intervention and integrated concurrent disorders treatment for TAY, and for developing inter-agency partnerships to improve system capacity to meet service demands.

Topic Area: Comorbid Conditions

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