Dr. Kristin Cleverley has been awarded a Transition in Care grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research for her study Facilitating Effective Mental Health Care Transitions for Youth: Evaluation of the Transition Navigator Program. This 2-year grant aims to evaluate a promising intervention — the Transition Navigator — that has been implemented across Canada.
When youth “age out” of hospital-based child and adolescent acute mental health services (CAMHS), their care is transitioned to community or adult mental health services (AMHS). These transitions in care are a serious health system issue in Canada because approximately half of youth drop out of care during this time. Evidence shows that poorly planned discharges and lack of care lead to worsened mental health, unnecessary health costs, and increased use of correctional and social services.
Given the unmet need and long wait times for mental health care among this population, ensuring more effective transitions from CAMHS to AHMS is critical. The use of Transition Navigators has been implemented across Canada to keep youth from “falling through the cracks” of our health care system at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives. However, there is no evidence to support their use or determine which aspects of the program are most effective for supporting transition success.
Dr. Cleverley’s CIHR-supported evaluation study will fill this critical health system gap. Using the Triple Aim Framework for evaluation of transition interventions, Dr. Cleverley and team will evaluate the Transition Navigator model in three hospitals, focusing on youth, caregivers, and clinician outcomes and experiences. The research team will engage youth and their caregivers in the study to ensure the study is patient-oriented and directly responds to their demand for evidence in this area. The evaluation’s findings should provide information to enable the Canadian healthcare system to improve the continuity of mental health care for youth.
Dr. Cleverley is a Senior Scientist in the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the CAMH Chair in Mental Health Nursing Research at the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.