Youth with mental health needs often face unemployment, underemployment, and discrimination when they enter the workforce. Employment data show that individuals with serious mental illness have the lowest level of employment of any group of people with disabilities. As a result, large numbers of youth with both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health needs who are transitioning into young adulthood, to the world of work, and to postsecondary education are likely to experience significant difficulties.
This guide provides practical information and resources for youth service professionals. In addition, it provides policymakers, from the program to the state level, with information to help them address system and policy obstacles in order to improve service delivery systems for youth with mental health needs. The guide’s framework is the Guideposts for Success. The Guideposts are research based and describe components that all youth need to transition successfully to adulthood as well as modifications for youth with disabilities. The Guideposts for Success for Youth with Mental Health Needs include all the elements of the original Guideposts as well as additional specific needs relating to youth with mental health needs.