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Young Adults of Transition Age

What is the Emerging Adults Initiative (EAI)?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded seven five-year cooperative agreements in FY 2009 for State/Community Partnerships to Integrate Services and Supports for Youth and Young Adults 16-25 with Serious Mental Health Conditions and Their Families (Emerging Adults Initiative). Young people with serious mental health conditions, particularly those involved with the public mental health system, often
face a more difficult transition to adulthood and the successful assumption of adult roles and responsibilities compared to their peers with or without other disabilities.

Programmatic Purpose
The purpose of the Emerging Adults Initiative is to create developmentally appropriate and effective youth-guided local systems of care that will assist youth and young adults of transition age in becoming healthy, confident, capable, and empowered adults. Those local systems will be linked and integrated at the state/tribal/territorial level in order to address broader system and financing issues and to facilitate implementation in other geographic locations in the future.

Overarching Goal
The goal of this initiative is to improve outcomes for youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions in areas such as education, employment, housing, mental health and co- occurring disorders, and decrease contacts with the juvenile and criminal justice system.

Federal Partners Group
SAMHSA has organized a Federal Partners Group to assist the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, the Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, and key federal agencies in supporting each other and the technical assistance and training needs of the Emerging Adults Initiative. This is an integrated approach to technical assistance around a specific initiative. The Federal Partners Group creates leadership to address the unique policy and service delivery needs of young adults of transition age.

Currently the audience for technical assistance consists of the seven states who were awarded the initial five-year HTI grant agreements. As work continues with these states, the intent is to develop strategies for providing effective technical assistance for youth and young adults of transition age to a broader, national audience.

Emerging Adults Meetings

This year’s national meeting, the Emerging Adults Initiative (EAI) grant community meeting will be held in Portland, Oregon on May 21-23, 2013 and will focus on looking toward successful fututes and lessons learned for sustainability. Click here for more details.

Last year’s national meeting was held in Annapolis, Maryland, from March 21-23, 2012.  The meeting's focus was on Adult/Child System Collaboration for Better Outcomes.

The annual national "Healthy Transitions Initiative Grant Community Meeting" for 2011 was held in Tampa, Florida, from March 20-23, 2011 in conjunction with the 24th Annual Children's Mental Health Research and Policy Conference.  The meeting's focus was on policy and practice change.

Please click here to view or download materials from the March 2011 Healthy Transitions National Meeting.

The annual national "Healthy Transitions Initiative Grant Community Meeting" for 2010 was held in Annapolis, Maryland, from April 13-15, 2010. This meeting's focus was on policy and included pre conference affinity meetings on the following subjects:

  • A focus on local and national evaluation for key evaluators
  • A focus on young adults and policy for Youth Coordinators and young adult recipients of service
  • A focus on finance for Principal Investigators

Please click here to view or download materials from the April 2010 Healthy Transitions National Meeting.

Additional Information

Additional information will be posted to this page as the initiative develops. If you have any questions about this or other initiatives that address the needs of young adults of transition age, please contact Gwen White at 724-816-9262.