Career Services for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions: Innovations in the Field

  • Marsha Langer EllisonEmail author
  • Sloan Smith Huckabee
  • Rachel A. Stone
  • Kathryn Sabella
  • Michelle G. Mullen


This study examined careers services provided to young adults with serious mental health conditions. Based on an internet survey and key informant telephone interview of 31 programs nominated for delivering innovative practices for young adults, the state of the field for career services was described. Most programs offered supported education and supported employment along with mental health services. Detailed and written planning was a key feature. Programs emphasized working closely with families, inter-agency collaboration, and use of normative community resources. Programs provided direct skills training for school and work and other life skills. Largely, existing models are being applied. However, providers described unique adaptations including greater flexibility in service delivery, attending to the turbulence and developmental changes characteristic of this age group, use of social media, and a heightened willingness to meet young people where “they are at” both literally and figuratively.



The contents of this booklet do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Funding Information

The contents of this publication were developed under grants with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (ACL grant number A-90DP0063 and ACL #90AR5018). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, SPARC, Transitions to Adulthood Center for ResearchUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolShrewsburyUSA
  2. 2.Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Psychiatric RehabilitationBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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