Guiding Documents, Tools and Youth Culture – Youth Empowered Solutions
YES! Resource Center

The Resource Center provides a range of information about supporting young people with serious mental health and substance use conditions. Providing access to a broad range of articles is intended to introduce a variety of topics and create familiarity with a variety of sources that can be reused over time.

The Resource Center also provides more depth on topics related to the developmental focus of the YES! framework and the outcomes produced during the 5-years in which it was developed and piloted.

Guiding Documents, Tools and Youth Culture


A toolkit designed to “help adult facilitators engage young people, allowing youth to serve as true leaders for programs that affect them”. This toolkit was created by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and it can be used by “local health departments, nonprofits, schools, and more to inform programming on a variety of health topics”.

A booklet created by Search Institute, an organization that “bridges research and practice to help young people be and become their best selves”. The booklet “introduces what they’re learning and provides some starting points for action by organizations and leaders dedicated to children and youth”.

A document which includes a detailed list of apps and suggestions, that would be helpful for engaging youth in the digital age.

Youth Voice and Self-Advocacy

A guide that was created with the goal of providing “a resource to youth, youth coordinators, family members, professionals, and other adults working with young people”. In particular, this resource seeks to provide “a starting point for understanding youth involvement and engagement in order to develop and fully integrate a youth-directed movement within local systems of care”.

A guide for educators and students with disabilities who seek to develop self accepting attitudes, combat negative thinking, and rediscover themselves. “This guide will help students better understand their disability, think positively about themselves, make choices related to their interests, gain self-advocacy, and develop self-determination skills—all of which help create effective Transition Planning.”

Youth Driven Practices

“This document summarizes the report called Working with Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts to Promote Youth Engagement, produced by the CYCC Network…The purpose of this report is to explore how different youth engagement strategies are being used to help children and youth in the most challenging of contexts nurture resilience, prevent mental health problems and build a special place for themselves in the collective life of their communities.”

Policies and Practices

Policies to establish the scope of psychosocial service programs, certification standards and criteria for determining the need for rehabilitation services, and other conditions of coverage for community based psychosocial services. 

Update of ForwardHealth changes after new budget considerations (as of July 1, 2014). Discusses process for counties and tribes to become Medicaid-enrolled, changes in Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus CCS benefits, and changes to reimbursement process. 

An article of providers’ perspective on the Wraparound Initiative and how they adapt the initiative around the life circumstances of youth and young adults. 

Tools and Resources

An issue brief providing a general overview of early psychosis programs and how those programs can benefit youth and young adults throughout their development.

A comprehensive overview of mental health conditions that often occur in young adults and how healthy transition services can help.

An examination of the critical age between late teenage adolescence through the twenties in regards to development and the opportunities that may or may not be accessible to young adults. 

A general model of how positive developmental approaches such as self-determination, ecological systems, and social capital, can be useful for young adult development. 

A guide to making decisions about youth in foster care regarding their mental health, treatment options, and the use of psychotropic medications. 

Video discussing youth engagement as a vital source in making decisions about the issues that affect them directly or that they believe to be important. 

A look into what soft skills/professional skills businesses are looking for and list of activities for young adults to do to develop those skills. 

Handbook that defines wellness in eight dimensions: social, environmental, physical, emotional, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, and financial. 

Handbook on the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) Model for working with youth and young adults with emotional/behavioral difficulties. This model focuses on engaging youth to plan their own futures, providing them with appropriate resources, and encouraging those within their lives to engage in the process. 

A resource for helping with youth and young adults with special health care needs and disabilities. 

An article for youth and young adults who will be starting/continuing virtual therapy sessions.

Other Website Resources for Young People with Mental Health Challenges

“This Publication page hosts an extensive collection of downloadable tip-sheets and briefs, reports, articles, posters, infographics and video, many of which were developed and reviewed, with input from young adults with serious mental health conditions and given their “stamp of approval”. Included are presentation slides given at national seminars and conventions. Select publications are also available in Spanish (español) and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt).”

The Publication Search page provided by Pathways contains downloadable journal articles, tip sheets, practice briefs, study guides, and research briefs that discuss youth and young adults’ transition into adulthood as well as the mental health challenges they may be facing. In addition to downloadable content, Pathways provides webinar recordings of various presentations on the topic. 

Take a look around and try searching for topics like engagement, community, toolkit, connection, empowerment, collaborate, peer, or transition

Resources to build the capacity of helping professionals, caregivers, and the systems in which they serve.