CLRP

Young Adult Services

Providing age appropriate services to young adults with psychiatric disabilities is a priority for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and is covered by the Patient’s Bill of Rights and the Policy on Individualized Treatment and Recovery Planning.

Very often the first onset of a serious mental illness occurs when a person is in his or her late teens or early twenties. Assuring that these youth have appropriate and timely individualized interventions and supports is critical to their stability and recovery. They can be subjected to discriminatory treatment by educational institutions, employers and others which may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Equal Protection Clause of the Connecticut Constitution.

Young adults who have been receiving services from the Department of Children and Families may be directly transferred to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services through a process governed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two agencies to promote safe and therapeutic transitions between the agencies. Under certain circumstances, DCF can continue to serve young adults after they turn eighteen, but may be reluctant to do so. It is essential that youth and their families seek advocacy assistance at the first sign that they may be terminated. This is particularly important if the young adult is receiving education or training services funded through DCF or the school system (link).

DMHAS has established a young adult services division to provide specialized age and developmentally appropriate supports for young adults that are provided at a range of program sites throughout the state. A young adult services unit has also been established at Connecticut Valley Hospital.

CLRP will represent young adults who believe that their right to age-appropriate individualized services, right to live in the least restrictive environment or other civil rights have been violated.

CLRP also recommends that young adults consider preparing an advance directive (link) that would help protect their treatment preferences if they are not able to do so.