Group Intervention for Young Adults With Mood and Anxiety Disorders Transitioning to College.
Young adults with chronic mood and anxiety disorders may receive a range of services in pediatric care (eg, psychiatry, therapy) and within the school system (eg, individualized education plans). Such services rely on the involvement of parents or guardians to support youth (eg, attending appointments, administering medications). However, in college, young adults are often on their own and need to assume responsibility for scheduling appointments, obtaining and taking medications, and seeking out additional services (eg, accommodations). Unfortunately, many young adults may not have developed the skills needed to navigate campus and health care systems effectively, which can often lead to dire consequences. Adding to these difficulties are the high rates of depression and suicidal ideation observed in today’s college students. Many students need intermediate levels of care to stay in school successfully, although not all have the maturity and skills to navigate health care without a transition plan. To address the needs of young adults transitioning out of pediatric mental health care, we developed a brief group intervention delivered to young adults and their parents during the 6 months before college or transition to living independently in the community. The transition group program structured sessions focused on scaffolding knowledge about one’s own skills (and deficits) related to independent living, successful transition to college or community, and ability to independently manage a chronic mental health disorder. All young adults and parents reported that they would recommend or strongly recommend the group to a friend, and the majority found the group to be acceptable with regard to length and frequency. For both young adults and parents, the future outlook also improved from pregroup to postgroup.