Discovery of a New Developmental Stage – Youth Empowered Solutions

Discovery of a New Developmental Stage

The first significant discussion of the emergence of a new stage development in professional literature was published in 2000 when Jeffrey Arnett introduced the term, “emerging adults” to describe individuals in their late teens and twenties. (Arnett, 2000) Dr. Arnett refers to this as an “extended period of independent role exploration.”  It is often referred to as a developmental stage of “self-discovery”.  

Recognition of this developmental stage is important to the provision of mental health services for young people because it provides insight into the low access rates of young people with mental health challenges who access services.  It also contributes to understanding of the abysmal treatment outcomes that have been common nationally for this age group.  

Wisconsin has become one of the leaders in recognition of this developmental stage. Age silos have been eliminated in CCS. Many providers understand this age group is a unique entity—neither child nor adult.  The question now is what can we do next?  Or, given the current circumstances, how can we build upon this awareness and better serve young people?  

This section outlines the components of YES! model. Collectively, these components contribute to services that are both effective and appealing to young people. They can be implemented in the order that makes sense to each program, in any particular combination that makes sense for the program.  For the sake of brevity and easy reading, components are simply described in terms of what is appealing and effective with young people, what draws them in, and examples of how a complex approach might be used. 

This section is not a technical assistance manual. This is an introduction only. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to share your questions, requests for additional information, or to discuss more formalized implementation process.

My Story, My Truth: Further tips to prepare & engage young people.

Hear from young people the life challenges that can lead them to accepting the help from YES!