Agency collaboration key to helping young people transition successfully to adulthood
Agency collaboration key to helping young people transition successfully to adulthood
Posted on 05/05/2017
Agency collaboration key to helping young people transition successfully to adulthood
By Carol Lambie, Waypoint President and CEO

If you are a teenager or young adult with mental health issues, or the parent of one, you know all too well how complex and difficult the system is to navigate. 

About 70% of mental health challenges have their onset in childhoodCarol Lambie or youth, yet only one in five youth are able to access mental health care when they seek it; and even if they do find treatment, many waste time in the wrong line, waiting for the wrong type of help.

Agencies in North Simcoe / Muskoka have been working together to try and bridge this gap with the Transitional Age Youth System of Supports partnership (TAY SoS).

Developed in 2014 on the heels of the provincial initiative for Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives, the TAY SoS partnership is a group of 43 agencies from 14 sectors working together to provide a comprehensive and integrated support system to young people and their families to help them transition into successful adults.

The TAY SoS partnership brings hospitals, community health care, education, employment, social service, justice and child and youth serving agencies together to engage youth in the delivery of their services. They work from a common language and framework, adopted from the Transition to Independence Process or TIP Model, to ensure the youth they work with hear the same messages from all their service providers. The TIP Model engages youth in their own future planning process, and provides appropriate and appealing supports for youth and their families in the transition to adulthood. It has proven to increase youth being successful in employment and completing educational goals, as well as decreasing involvement in the criminal justice system.

While much has been done to break down the silos for youth seeking mental health treatment, there’s still work to be done. And thanks to a generous donation announced by the Royal Bank of Canada on March 2, some of that work will now become a reality.

Proving they believe in supporting youth in our communities, RBC donated $100,000 to the TAY SoS partnership to assist in supporting system navigation and gathering the youth voice, making the services provided meaningful and accessible for youth in need. Our sincere thanks are expressed to RBC for this major contribution.

Ontario experienced a one-third rise in emergency department visits over six years for children and youth presenting with mental health and addictions problems, a recent joint study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences has found. This money will help our youth to find and access the right care from the right provider, hopefully before a crisis emerges.

With the support of the RBC grant, the TAY SoS partners will be focusing on system navigation using interactive tools, face to face contact and youth-led initiatives to help youth and their families find the support they need.