Improving support for young people with mental health needs

Young people told us about challenges during their transition to adult mental health services. This led to the recruitment of transition workers to help coordinate their support, ensuring services are responsive to their needs.
mental health

Young people often find the transition from child to adult mental health services difficult and some disengage from services completely.

Not all young people struggling with their mental health will need specialist services but they all need some support to prepare them for independence and/or adulthood.  

We spoke to young people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities along with their parent/carers about their support needs  as they transition to adult services. Young people reported a poor experience of health and social care including: 

  • difficulties talking to someone within the system 

  •  uncoordinated support 

  • lack of training to build their resilience.  

We also found that some young people disengaged from services due to unclear referral processes.    

Young people told us that they needed:  

  • proper planning and transition support 

  • access to information on services

  • help to build resilience. 

“There is an assumption that upon reaching 18 years old, young people’s needs stop overnight. because one day they are 17 and 364 days and the next day they are 18. Their needs are still changing, and those needs don’t stop just because they turn 18”. Carer

We presented our findings to Lambeth Together, a collaborative group of professionals from the statutory and voluntary and community mental health sector.



Our findings  have led to the recruitment of transition workers to help coordinate the support for young people and ensure that services are responsive to their needs. This will mean better outcomes for young people who are prepared for adulthood.


Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas. Tell us your positive/negative feedback and experiences, and we'll use them to improve services. Your feedback is treated anonymously.

Talk to us