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System transformation to enhance transitional age youth mental health – a scoping review
Child and Adolescent Mental Health (2022)
  • Joseph Adu, Western University
  • Abe Oudshoorn, Western University
  • Arlene MacDougall, Western University
  • Amy Van Berkum
Youth mental health challenges are an emerging and persistent global public health issue despite efforts for improvement. As part of a broader social innovation study to transform youth mental health systems, this scoping review assesses interventions that aim for systems-level changes to improve the mental well-being of transitional age youth (TAY) (15–25 years) in high-income countries.
The scoping review method of Arksey and O'Malley (International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8, 2005, 19) was used. Seven health and social service databases were utilized with study inclusion criteria applied. Titles and abstracts were screened by two independent reviewers, and four members of the research team were involved in the review and thematic analysis of selected studies.
A total of 5652 peer-reviewed articles were screened at the title and abstract level, of which 65 were assessed in full for eligibility, and 29 were included for final analysis. The peer-reviewed articles and gray literature were based in seven different high-income countries and published between 2008 and 2019. Four major themes to support youth mental health were identified in the literature: (a) improving transitions from youth to adult mental healthcare services; (b) moving care from institutions to the community; (c) general empowerment of youth in society; and (d) youth voice within the system. Inconsistent or limited systems-level approaches to TAY mental health care were noted.
There remains a need for innovative, evidence-based approaches to improve TAY mental health care.
Publication Date
Summer August 3, 2022
Citation Information
Adu, J., Oudshoorn, A., Van Berkum, A., Pervez, R., Norman, R., Canas, E., Virdee, M., Yosieph, L. & MacDougall, A.G. (2022). Promising Structural Reforms to Support Youth Mental Health: A Scoping Review. Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY International License.