North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services
Healthy Transitions Project:
Improving the Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults
The North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services proposed to implement a coordinated system of outreach, assessment, and care coordination integrating youth peer partners to improve access to treatment and support services for transitional age youth ages 16-25 who have a serious emotional disturbance (SED) or serious mental illness (SMI).
Funding and Context
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) awarded a grant for a 5-year funding cycle. The overall goal of the Healthy Transitions Initiative is to provide developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically competent services and supports to address serious mental health disorders among youth and young adults 16-25 years of age. Youth and young adults with SED or SMI may have the following challenges:
• Dropped out of school/Truancy
• Juvenile or Criminal Justice System involvement
Unfortunately, these same youth and young adults are among the least likely to seek help and most likely to “fall through the cracks.”
Partner Local Communities
North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services selected two communities in Western North Carolina to explore the best methods to provide coordinated outreach, assessment, and care coordination. Due to the high levels of resources in these communities, this partnership with the state could eventually develop into a statewide model.
• Henderson County
• Buncombe County
Goals and Outcomes
It is expected that this project will improve emotional and behavioral health functioning so that this population of youth and young adults can maximize their potential to assume adult roles and responsibilities and lead full and productive lives.
The North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services has the following goals for the Healthy Transitions Project:
• Increase the capacity of the selected communities to identify mental health symptoms in young people.
• Increase the number of young people 16-25 years old who are assessed for serious emotional disturbance or serious mental illness.
• Increase the number of young people who are recommended for behavioral health services who attend at least one behavioral health session.
• Increase the capacity of the youth and young adults to fully participate in their own treatment and supports planning.
• Increase peer support for family/caregivers who are assisting their emerging adults with mental health symptoms navigate the developmental transition tasks and systems
• Increase capacity of selected providers to assess, refer and provide services for identified youth
Transitional Age Youth Programs State Lead:
NC Healthy Transitions Project Director:
Kate Perrotta, LCSW, CCM
Phone: (828) 713-7280 · Email: Kate.Perrotta@dhhs.nc.gov
NC Healthy Transitions Youth and Young Adult Coordinator
Phone: (919) 417-9407 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NC Healthy Transitions Youth and Young Adult Peer Specialist
NC Healthy Transitions Evaluator Tiffany Smith, Ph.D