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transitional-aged youth

Transitional-Aged Youth

Transitional Age Youth – that period between adolescence and adulthood when transitions in life can be challenging. It’s a time when youth move from high school to college or into the workforce, establish new relationships and discover how to make decisions for their growing independence. During this period, anxiety may be heightened, mood/impulses may be difficult to control and experimentation with substances may be more accessible.

Youths ages 16 to 26, have the highest occurrence for mental illness compared to other age groups, according to a national study on mental health and mood disorders. As they face unique developmental challenges, youth may become more vulnerable to experiencing a new onset of mental health illness.

The Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) program at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital was created to provide specialized psychological support for individuals between 16 and 26 years of age. The TAY Intensive Outpatient Program was designed for those 18 years of age and older who need extra social support in a safe space, to build skills following an inpatient hospitalization or acquire new skills to manage mental health with a group therapy program to meet the unique needs of young adults.

Our Treatment Method

We use a combined treatment approach to offer the best care possible for our group members. Some groups are process-oriented, which means individuals receive one-on-one attention and support to problem-solve their everyday challenges.

Other groups are guided by Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), an evidence-based treatment that was developed to help those who struggle with regulating emotions, forming and maintaining healthy relationships, tolerating stressful situations and being present in the moment.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Young Adults

YNHPH offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Each young adult entering the IOP receives an initial assessment by a licensed clinical social worker and psychiatrist. Throughout the 6-week program, an experienced team of clinicians delivers specialized treatment geared toward the young adult population. The group-based IOP provides voluntary treatment in a comfortable setting where young adults can work with the specialized team alongside their peers, four afternoons per week for 3 hours per day. Groups are DBT-based with a focus on key concepts including mindfulness, mood-regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal skills.

With a goal of both supporting and empowering emerging adults, the program specializes in treating young people with psychiatric disorders including mood disorders, anxiety, personality disorders and trauma. In addition, we offer a specialized track for patients with a co-occurring substance use disorders.

Our balanced treatment approach includes: 

  • Engaging therapy groups
  • One-on-one meetings
  • Family support
  • Psychiatric assessment and medication management

We specialize in treating: 

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression, bipolar and mood disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Co-occurring addiction or challenges related to substance use
  • Chronic suicidal ideation and/or self-injurious behavior 

The IOP program is available as a step-down for individuals in inpatient or residential treatment or as a direct admission.

Inpatient treatment

As this is a critical time in the development of young individuals, some patients have high-risk behaviors that need prompt, focused treatment. That may require admission. Our 25-bed inpatient unit is located on the third floor of Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. Our team of professionals includes board-certified psychiatrists, nurses, APRNs, social workers, plus occupational and recreational therapists.

A typical stay on the inpatient unit is 8 - 10 days in order to stabilize patients by creating a treatment plan that will teach coping skills to help integrate back into school and the community. We focus on helping individuals develop positive and healthy skills in terms of decision-making, establishing a support system and developing effective coping mechanisms to have a full and productive life.

Group, individual and family therapy, along with medication management are included in the treatment plan. We specialize in collaborating with families during this critical time in an individual’s development. Our team incorporates a variety of therapeutic approaches including supportive psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and occupational and recreational therapy. In addition, we have access to spiritual and neuropsychological testing services.