On Wednesday, April 4, Root Cause’s Social Innovation Forum hosted its Social Issue Talk featuring 2012 Social Innovator Tempo Young Adult Resource Center. We are grateful to the Gordon Brothers for hosting this event and to the Sudbury Foundation for providing funding.
Dr. MaryAnn Davis, research associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School and the director of the Learning and Working during Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (Transitions RTC), delivered a presentation outlinining the challenges facing transition-age youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions. Dr. Davis’s focus is on the development of adult role functioning during the transition from adolescence to mature adulthood. She has examined conflicts between the developmental needs of this transitioning population and policies and practices at the federal, state, and local levels of health, human service and education agencies. She has studied service system supports, barriers to healthy development, and policies that shape those service patterns, and she has worked with Congress to develop legislation to better address the needs of this population. Dr. Davis’ work also emphasizes developing evidence-based interventions that improve this population’s transition into adulthood, including mental health and related treatment, interventions that reduce criminal behavior and support successful completion of education and training, and movement into mature work lives.
After Dr. Davis’s fascinating presentation, Yolanda Ortiz, program director for Tempo Young Adult Resource Center, spoke briefly about how Tempo’s program is designed to work best for the particular developmental stage of youth between the ages of 17 and 24. Dr. Davis’s information made it clear that youth transitioning to adulthood aren’t children nor are they adults – and services that place them into one category or another don’t work. For example, an 18 year old needing mental health services doesn’t always have a parent to make sure he goes to appointments. Nor is the 18 year old developmentally mature enough to understand the full implications of skipping treatment. So, how do we ensure that these transition-age youth get the services they need? According to Dr. Davis, we develop programs that are developmentally tailored to transition age youth, programs that are appealing, programs that support development of adult functioning and programs that can continue work as youth mature. Tempo does that. Tempo is fun, friendly and non-judgmental. All of its services are offered under one roof. There are no waiting lists and no eligbility requirements.
- Dr. MaryAnn Davis
- Yolanda Ortiz, Program Director, Tempo Young Adult Resource Center
- Bonny Saulnier, Wayside Vice President for Community Services