New models of care in general practice for the youth mental health transition boundary
Rebecca Appleton, Faraz Mughal, Domenico Giacco, Helena Tuomainen, Catherine Winsper and Swaran P Singh
Mental illness represents the highest proportion of disease burden for children and young people in the UK.1 However, despite this, young people can struggle to access timely and appropriate mental health care. One particular barrier to continuity of care occurs when young people reach the upper age limit (usually 18 years) of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). If they require ongoing specialist support, their care should be transferred to an adult mental health service (AMHS), through a purposeful and planned transfer of care known as ‘transition’. However, only around a quarter of young people transition to AMHS,2 and in the absence of specialist adult mental health care, GPs often become involved in the young person’s care ‘by default’.3 Although GPs become responsible for the young person’s care after they leave CAMHS, they may not have the necessary skills and resources to manage complex mental health difficulties in young people.