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Health, Science & Tech

Grant to Help Young Adults with Behavioral Health Disorders

Sixteen to 25-year-olds — they’re in between — not quite children, not quite adults.

But most human services are tailored to either group, not taking into account all of the nuanced needs young adults have. Now, a $5 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to the Department of Public Welfare will address their needs and hopefully help bridge that gap.

Ellen DeDomenico, the policy director for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse for DPW says this grant builds upon the coordinated specialty care model —the idea that you are taking the entire person into account. In young adulthood, people are thinking of school, work, possible careers, relationships, living situations. With behavioral health issues, those things can get derailed.

“We can really put them on a trajectory that will make such a difference in the outcomes of their lives, you know that they really can continue to pursue education, jobs, their independent lives, without having to really get pigeon-holed into somebody with behavioral health issues that needs services," DeDomenico said.

Young adulthood is when many experience the first symptoms of mental health disorders.

The grants will go Washington, Bucks and Berks counties because of their previous work in this field.  

The Healthy Transitions grant will be spread out over five years.