Personally, I didn’t get any mental health treatment until I was an adult, but the lengthy article below raises some interesting questions about what happens when someone in treatment turns 18:
“There are a number of factors likely fueling those low treatment numbers. Many teens get mental health care through private providers, but those who move away from home often stop seeing them. Others get care through services specific to children and families, like school counseling or the foster care system.
Age 18 is a particularly difficult time for a person to drop out of — or lose access to — mental health services. Those age 18 to 25 are more likely than the general adult population to report having serious mental illness, having serious thoughts of suicide, or to have attempted suicide. And as is the case across much of the U.S. population, the suicide rate for young adults has risen in recent years, climbing 76% between 2007 and 2017.
Those numbers put in stark relief the urgent need to make sure teens have a bridge to mental health care in adulthood, experts said.”
Frankly, if our pediatric treatment doesn’t include setting expectations and preparing teens for accessing continuing treatment and other resources as an adult, then it is failing.