Author Affiliation

Department of Social Work, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Document Type

Policy Advocacy Brief

Publication Date


Issue Statement/Executive Summary

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a crucial time in a person’s life. For young people living with mental health conditions, becoming an independent, well-functioning, and productive adult can be especially challenging. It is imperative that supports be put in place to ensure transition-age youth have a smooth passage from child to adult mental health services. Nearly half of all life-long diagnosable conditions present by age 14. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finds the co-occurrence of serious illnesses and substance use disorders exist among transition-age youth more than any other developmental age. When left untreated, depression and other adolescent mental health concerns can lead to negative consequences, including violence and bullying, dropping out of school, and suicide. The programs and services that vulnerable young people receive during childhood and adolescence represent our country's acknowledgment of their special needs. Similar supports and services must be available to support their transition to adulthood. Minnesota needs to invest in an effective model to bridge the gap between child and adult mental health services. The Transition to Independence Process (TIP) model should be adopted by the state of Minnesota to support youth between the ages of 14 and 25 living with mental health conditions to become independent, well-functioning, productive adults.


Social Work



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