Professor Gerard Leavey (Ulster) – The Impact Study: Improving Mental Health Pathways and Care for Adolescents in Transition to Adult Services in Northern Ireland

This presentation will focus on the provision of services for adolescents in Northern Ireland during the transitional stage from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS). The Bamford Review highlighted concerns that services in Northern Ireland may be under resourced, patchy and inconsistent in their approach to adolescent care and service transition. The Review also questioned the strength of effective liaison and collaboration between services such as CAMHS, education, social services, criminal justice and primary care. There is continuing concern that many young people with mental health problems are lost to care in the move from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health services. Evidence suggests that between 30-60% of young people drop out of treatment with young socially isolated males most likely to disengage. Many of these young people come into contact with services later, including the criminal justice system, with complex, compounded and harder to manage problems. A key focus of this presentation will be an on-going research project, funded by the R&D Division of the Public Health Agency, examining the issue of transitional services for young people with mental health problems in Northern Ireland. The primary aim of the study is to gather robust quantitative and qualitative data on the provision of services for adolescents in Northern Ireland during the transitional stage from CAMHS to AMHS, which will inform standardised service development. [Policy Briefing] [Presentation]

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