New transition model planned from CAMHS to adult services

It is recommended that the age of transition should be moved from 18 to 25

Max Ryan

May 3, 2024

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  • Implementation of Sharing the Vision, Ireland’s national mental health policy, will enhance mental health services and supports across a broad continuum, from promotion of positive mental health to specialist mental health service delivery. 

    The policy’s National Implementation Monitoring Committee established specialist groups in a number of areas. This includes the Youth Mental Health Transitions Specialist Group, which focuses on providing appropriate supports to service users transitioning from CAMHS to adult mental health services, as per the Sharing the Vision document. It is recommended that the age of transition should be moved from 18 to 25, and future supports should reflect this.

    The specialist group has been progressing recommendation 36 of the ‘Vision’ policy and has concluded its work with the completion of two reports, which will be published shortly. The Enhanced Transition Plan aims for a seamless transition from CAMHS to adult services. It will be implemented by the newly-established HSE Child Youth Mental Health Office over the next 18 months. One of the central tenets of this plan is transitioning from CAMHS to adult care rather than the traditional model of a referral. This is designed to ensure continuity of care and should reduce associated workload for GPs needing to make onward referrals. 

    The specialist group has also completed a reconfiguration plan for the provision of age-appropriate specialist mental health services up to age 25. Changes will include a single point of access with a dedicated multi-service, multidisciplinary triage team representing primary care, disability, specialist mental health services, community partners and mental health clinical programmes. 

    For GPs, this will mean one referral destination for all mental health referrals for young people under 25. The proposed multidisciplinary triage team will act as a support to transitions between specialist mental health services, thus reducing the administrative burden on GPs. 

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