Transitions: Across the Bridge
The BRIDGE project is a follow-on from the TRACK study which looked at transition processes and protocols in London, and identified a number of markers of good transition including joint working and a period of parallel care between Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and adult mental health services.
The Bridge study is examining two models of transitional care for young people leaving CAMHS. One is protocol-driven and is based in Sandwell in the West Midlands. The other, based in Coventry, involves a protocol but, in addition, there is also a dedicated transition coordinator in post offering direct work with young people and extensive liaison and coordination with different services.
The aim is to explore with young people how they experience these different approaches to supporting their transition from CAMHS. In particular, we hope to see if there is any difference in young people who need to move on to adult mental health services being able to access adult care.
Young people from the Rethink Young People’s Panel are acting as advisors to the study and have helped to identify some of the issues the interviews with young people will explore. Later on, we hope that they and other young people from the two West Midlands study sites will help the research team come up with some recommendations that will really help improve support for young people when they leave CAMHS.
One important part of the BRIDGE project is the setting up of a transition worker network. So far, there are 16 members in the network, drawn from a range of CAMHS and adult services, and the aim is to provide a forum for:
- Mapping what work people are doing on transitions around the country
- Exploring issues related to transition, what is working well and also the difficulties people are facing
- Sharing good practice and identifying barriers to good transitional care for young people.
- Disseminating new resources for young people and families, to assist frontline staff in their practice.
Already Bridge has identified that despite a lot of activity, there are still some major problems in ensuring that young people have a smooth transition from CAMHS.
This can be because of very high thresholds into adult mental health services and also because of the closure of voluntary sector project, e.g. those offering counselling and drop-in support sessions. On a more positive note, the Bridge team have also found some examples of new leaflets and web-based information for young people in transition.
The study runs until early spring 2013 and the research team would welcome people sending them ideas of good practice in supporting young people in transition. The research lead can be contacted by email – email@example.com
YoungMinds is campaigning to improve transitions care from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health services. You can read all about our campaign here.