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Young people, mental health and employment - developing good practice

In the transition from Children and Young People's services to adult services, employment outcomes for young people with mental health problems often receive less attention than other outcomes (including social care and health outcomes). 

As 'NEETs' (young people who are not in education, employment, or training), young people with mental health problems – including young people with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties – may only get support from generic approaches to support NEETs, and so don’t receive sufficient or appropriately differentiated approaches that reflect their particular needs or circumstances.

Such differentiated approaches include, for example, inter-agency working across all relevant organisations, especially engaging CAMHS, adults MH services and education providers, as well as sources of informal support.

To address the issue of employment support at transition for young people (16-25) with mental health problems, we have:

  • Reviewed existing literature on what is known to work to support young people, with and without mental health problems, into work, and the difference this makes.
  • Developed, tested and disseminated resources that can support other areas to develop good practice for this cohort. This guidance is primarily for commissioners of children's, adult and health services that relate to mental health.

Both of these documents can be downloaded on the right hand side of this page.

We are also producing two case studies of existing good practice and will publish these in the spring.

As a result of this work, local areas now know what good looks like in supporting young people aged 16-26 with mental health problems into employment – based on research and evidence – and will be able to particularly draw on opportunities and levers arising from the Children and Families Bill to make ‘good’ a reality.