Improving the Lives of Young People with Serious Mental Health Conditions Through Research & Training
New Research Briefs on College Students with Foster Care Histories
These briefs share findings from two studies by researchers from Pathways RTC on college students with foster care histories and self-identified mental health conditions. One study examined results from a randomized controlled trial of the FUTURES model, a post-secondary support and retention program, while the other study explored the perspectives of these students.
Webinar Recording: "Supporting Youth Peers During COVID-19"
COVID-19 has changed the way mental health professionals and youth peers serve their populations, and in doing such many providers may be struggling themselves. This webinar covered how organizations can support youth peer staff; supervision strategies for supporting youth peers; and recommendations on how youth peer support specialists can support their youth while maintaining boundaries.
Webinar Recording: "Advanced Skills for Youth- and Young Adult-Driven Practice: Recognizing and Managing the Urge to Lead"
This webinar used videos drawn from real interactions between young people and providers to demonstrate skills and techniques that providers can use to maintain a youth-/young adult-driven approach, particularly in situations where providers are tempted to "lead" the young person to a new perspective, as when the provider fears that the young person is making a bad or risky choice.
New Pathways Comics Study Guide for Pathways Comics Vol. 4
This new Pathways Comics study guide raises questions for discussion and points for reflection about the events in Volume 4 of Pathways Comics, which explores the topic of drop-in centers as a form of engagement in services. This study guide is intended to help service providers who work with young people with mental health conditions consider how their own initial engagement and continued work with young people can honor their perspective, prior experiences, and ultimately young people's expertise on their own lives.
Webinar Recording: "Collaboration Between Youth Partners and Family Partners in Wraparound"
Youth/Young Adult Peer Support is a relatively new addition to Wraparound. Programs sometimes struggle with understanding how teamwork is best enhanced when there is both a family partner and a youth partner involved. This webinar, which aired April 30, 2020, focused on optimizing the connection between youth and family peer support partners when they are working together on Wraparound teams. It covered key strategies on how to collaborate on addressing common challenges with life scenarios.
New Issues of Pathways Comics: Parts 3 and 4 of "Dropping In"
Pathways comics are created by and for young adults and the people that care about them. In these two new issues of Volume 4, "Dropping In," James and Taylor talk while playing video games, and Zoe explains the concept of peer support.
New Journal Article: "Exploring College Student Identity Among Young People With Foster Care Histories and Mental Health Challenges"
Young adults with foster care histories experience unique barriers to success in postsecondary academic settings, including higher rates of mental health challenges. This study reports the perspectives of college students with foster care histories and self-identified mental health concerns (N=18) about how these factors relate to their post-secondary academic experiences.
New Study Guide for e-Learning Tools: "Improvables"
This study guide accompanies the "Improvables" AMP e-Modules, which take the viewer through a video of a real interaction between a provider and a young person, allowing them to stop along the way and explore how the provider's responses can either support or impede the goal of having a youth-driven conversation. The study guide provides questions for discussion and reflection, along with links to additional resources. It is our goal that youth-service providers use these tools as an opportunity to enhance their skills and to reflect on the "improvables" in their own practice.
Tip Sheet: "Telehealth for Transition Age Youth and Young Adults"
This tip sheet provides options for protecting the emotional safety, privacy and welfare of transition-age youth and young adults while they are participating in virtual mental health care. This list, compiled via consultation with youth peer support specialists, clinicians, and supervisors who work with young people, is intended as a starting point as services evolve to meet the challenges of this new era.
Webinar Recording: "Decision Points in Your Agency: What to Consider when Working with Youth Peers"
This webinar, which aired May 4, 2020, focused on important points to consider when hiring or contracting with youth peer support specialists. This includes the pros and cons of partnering with an outside agency, conducting internal hires, considering full or part-time positions, recommended policies and procedures, etc. The webinar was hosted by Maria Hermsen-Kritz and Caitlin Baird, two experienced youth peer support specialists and supervisors.
New Practice Brief and Study Guide: How Youth Partners Can Collaborate with Family Partners in Wraparound
This pair of documents provides guidance on bridging connections between youth partners and family partners on Wraparound teams. The peer practice brief describes methods of collaboration and tips for addressing common challenges, and provides scenarios for practicing the material during staff training or coaching. The accompanying study guide provides answers to questions introduced in the practice brief scenarios.