Assessing Community Support for Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges.
Innovations in reaching beyond the disability community
This presentation will describe the development and use of the Community Support for Transition Inventory (CSTI), a web based intervention that collects data from community stakeholders, state leaders and young adults. Baseline data has been collected for 10 sites that have been awarded SAMHSA grants to develop services for transition aged youth. The profile of results will be presented and implications for technical assistance with communities will be discussed.
Introduction. Young people in late adolescence and early adulthood who experience serious mental health conditions confront a variety of barriers that impede service access and continuity, and that contribute to low rates of utilization of services that may be available (Walker & Gowen, in press). Many of these barriers are related to policies at the state or local level that can be modified as part of efforts to improve outcomes for this population (Davis & Koroloff, 2007; Davis & Sondheimer, 2005). This pap[er reports on the development and testing of a way to assess the extent to which stakeholders at the state and community level make decisions and create policies that enhance support can be provided to older adolescents and young adults who experience serious mental health conditions. There are three measures in total: 1) a state-level assessment called the State Support for Transition Inventory (SSTI); 2) two modules (a stakeholder module and a youth/young adult/ally module) for a community-level assessment called the Community Supports for Transition Inventory (CSTI).
Method. Items for the CSTI were adapted from a similar instrument (Community Support for Wraparound Inventory) through several rounds of stakeholder review. The final CSTI has 45 items arranged into eight themes: Community Partnership, Collaborative Action, Practice Quality and Support, Workforce, Fiscal Policies and Sustainability, Access to Services and Supports, Accountability and State Support.
The SSTI was developed to assess state-level efforts to support the development of comprehensive and integrated supports in communities across the state. These items went through a process of review and revision similar to that used on the stakeholder CSTI. At the end of this process, the SSTI was finalized with 26 items arranged in six themes: Partnerships, Collaborative Action, Workforce, Fiscal Policies and Sustainability, Access to Services and Supports, and Workforce. Finally, using a similar process, the 22-item youth/young adult/ally module was developed.
Findings. Surveys for each assessment were created for the seven states and ten communities who had received grants to develop comprehensive transition service systems under the federal Healthy Transitions Initiative (HTI—three states had two communities each). Stakeholders participated in online surveys containing the relevant assessments. A total of 152 community stakeholders, 112 state-level stakeholders, and 78 young people/allies. Customized reports with item, theme and total scores were returned to each community and state. A factor analysis has been performed and we will report on the results and other information about the integrity of the assessments. The pattern of responses that is common across all sites and some of the differences will be presented. We will also report on how the communities have used the data as part of strategic planning and for other purposes.