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Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

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Teenagers -- Mental health services, Young adults with mental disabilities -- Services for, Community-based social services -- United States


As compared to any other age cohort in the US population, young people in late adolescence and early adulthood have a higher rate of unmet need for mental health services. Not only are these young people (from about 16 to 25 years old, and referred to here as “emerging adults”) more likely to experience a serious mental health condition (SMHC), but they are also less likely to engage in services. Furthermore, when emerging adults do engage in services, they face multiple barriers to service continuity, particularly as they come up to “milestone” ages at 18, 21, and 24.

There is a growing body of research that documents the poor outcomes and adversities experienced by emerging adults with SMHCs; however, only recently has attention been turned to developing interventions that respond to their unique needs and preferences. A special issue of the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research (JBHS&R), published in 2015, highlighted new research focused on interventions and programs that have shown success in improving outcomes for emerging adults who experience serious mental health conditions.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research. The final authenticated version is available online at:]

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2016



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