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The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

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Action research, Youth -- Mental health services -- United States, Mental health services -- Evaluation, Qualitative research


Participatory action research processes guided a national online survey of service providers working with transition age youth with mental health challenges. The survey investigated transition service providers’ ratings of the importance of competencies and skills, self-assessed need for training in these competencies and skills, their preferred training modalities, and obstacles to engaging in training. The 254 participants identified trauma-informed care, understanding youth culture, promoting natural supports, and using culturally responsive practices as most important training needs. Age, years in current job, years in transition work, and race/ethnicity predicted training needs regarding some competencies and skills. Peer providers expressed preferences for young adult-led training. Qualitative responses highlighted training needs for supporting specific underserved populations: youth from communities of color, LGBTQ youth, and those with co-occurring disorders. Results may guide future training initiatives for peer support and non-peer support providers and workforce development initiatives designed to improve behavioral health services for young people.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Springer in The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research on June 25, 2019, available online:

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2019



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