C&A’s Transitional Youth program works with adolescents ages 14 to primarily 19. In some cases, the clinicians will work with young adults until the age of 24.
Clients in this program are receiving mental health services and in many cases are learning independent skills needed to successfully transition from adolescence to adulthood.
The Transitional Youth program has three components. Clients may work in one or all components. The first component is adolescents will work with a clinician when they are experiencing issues around their mental health like anxiety or depression. The second component is some youths will also work with a case manager on applying skills they are learning in therapy at home and school. The last component is some adolescents may work with a peer-to-peer counselor on skills to transition into the adult world.
What skills will adolescents learn in this program?
Adolescents will learn skills on coping strategies for anxiety, depression or mental health diagnoses. In many cases, clinicians work with clients to help them improve their social skill. If a client is working with the peer advocate, they can learn how to locate employment, navigate applying for college and gaining access to housing.
A source of stress and anxiety for many teenagers today is social media. Adolescents today often have to deal with cyber bullying, social media posts that make them feel left out when friends post pictures of friends excluding them from social activities. Today, teenagers are tracked through their location on their cell phones. Most of their communication is done through texting.
Transitional Youth in this program will be screened for suicidal or self-harming behavior. Some of these adolescents are experimenting or using substances (up to 20 percent of the kids in this program use alcohol, drugs or are vaping). Clinicians in this program are trained to screen for and treat substance use by transitional youth.
Peer advocates are typically counselors post-college in their early 20s who are a resource for youth in the transitional program. The peer advocates are mentors and/or advocates who can act as a role model and assist youth with learning independent living skills. These independent living skills including navigating a job application, practicing interview skills and navigating the application process for applying for college or locating housing.
A common term teen use today is adulting. Many adolescents are having trouble transitioning from adolescence into the adult world. Part of the issue many kids are experiencing is the helicopter/overprotected parent. Studies have indicated the children of helicopter parents are not as healthy; have emotional problems; rely on self-medication; and lack self-regulatory skills.
The young adults participating in this program are referred to the program through their schools CARE teams, parents who notice an issue or in some instances are court referred. Many of the clients are from Stark County’s larger high schools.
Where are clients seen?
Treatment for young adults in this program may be seen at school through our school-based clinicians. Clients may also be seen in one of our four office locations or at meeting place in the community.
The average time a youth spends in this program is 12 to 18 months. The end goal is for the adolescents to have the coping skills to manage stress to become a happy, healthy and productive independent adult.
Dr. Karita Nussbaum