On April 3, youth, families, mental health service providers, faith-based organizations, community groups, advocates, health care practitioners, peer specialists, foundation staff, and school teachers, counselors and administrators gathered in Houston, Texas to learn more about engaging youth who are transitioning into adulthood.

Dr. Fagan delivering his key note.

Dr. Fagan delivering his keynote.

Our keynote speaker Dr. Marc Fagan kicked off the conference with a stimulating presentation outlining why engaging young adults with mental health conditions is important and provided key strategies for doing so. While he hit on some of the current barriers that exist in the adult mental health system, he mainly focused his presentation on the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) model, an evidence-informed practice to help youth plan for their futures. He highlighted several TIP guidelines and how the process works. Learn more about TIP and his work here.

The conference also included three thought-provoking panels, featuring parents of TAY, TAY service providers and TAY themselves. Each panel introduced a unique perspective on the challenges faced during the transitional period from youth to adulthood for youth with mental health conditions. The parents of TAY shared the challenges and successes they have experienced during this important time in their children’s lives. While telling their personal stories, they helped the audience gain a better understanding on how parents and families can better support youth.

The service provider panel provided key insights on best practices for transitioning youth and highlighted programs that have been proven to work. The panel stressed the importance of the youth voice and their choices in decision-making.

Youth Panel

Youth Panel

The conference ended with the much anticipated youth panel that inspired the entire audience to think about systems change and effective solutions. The youth were passionate about their stories and helping their peers succeed. Audience members were encouraged by the youth’s courage and insights.

Overall the day was a huge success. The discussion, the people and the topic made it a great seminar. We hope all of the attendees felt the same.

For more info on the day, go to https://hogg.utexas.edu/initiatives/YMMTAY.html. To view pictures, go to https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.628680463825206.1073741826.199244320102158&type=1&l=301bbe6cc2.