The Guideposts for Success are a framework to assist the multiple organizations that need to be involved to meet the needs and improve the transition outcomes of all youth including youth with disabilities and to create necessary community webs of support.
The Guideposts for Success for Youth with Mental Health Needs are particularly helpful for youth service practitioners serving youth with mental health needs. Youth with mental health needs may not be properly diagnosed, if they are diagnosed at all, especially during the teenage years when it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between (1) a mental health issue; (2) typical anxiety experienced by youth, particularly if those feelings are not behaviorally expressed; and (3) substance abuse, which may be a secondary issue that many youth with mental health needs may experience. Youth with mental health needs may not have a stable base of support, or any support, which hampers their successful transition from adolescence to adulthood, especially given the stigma associated with mental illness. The likelihood for economic stability and success is increased for youth with mental health needs if an intentional, integrated, and well-coordinated set of supports is in place, a sort of unconditional safety net. The Guideposts point the way to providing those supports.