Transition to adulthood is the period of onset of some of the most serious mental disorders that disable or kill in adult life. However, only a small proportion of young people in this age group, less than one in six, access services or receive appropriate care.

The current service configuration of distinct Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) is increasingly viewed as an impediment to holistic and comprehensive care for young people, especially those who make a transition from one model to another.

There is international concern about young people who get ‘lost’ during their move from CAMHS to AMHS. Disruption of care during transition may adversely affect the health, wellbeing and potential of this vulnerable group.

Ideally, such a transition should be a planned, orderly and purposeful process of change from child-oriented to adult models of care or there should be an appropriate discharge from mental health care if there is no further clinical need.