Employment and Education Interventions Targeting Transition-Age Youth with Mental Health Conditions: A Synthesis

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Transition-age youth with mental health conditions experience adverse employment and educational outcomes and little is known about strategies for improving their outcomes. The purpose of this study was to review education and employment intervention programs that targeted transition-age youth with mental health conditions, to highlight the components, efficacy of the interventions, and predictors of better outcomes. Eighteen studies published between 1990 and 2017 met the inclusion criteria. Results indicate that interventions led to improvement in employment or education outcomes. Common intervention components included: mental health services, career counseling, career development, cognitive adaptation training, interagency collaboration, peer mentoring, functional skills assessment, individualized or person-centered counseling, social skill, and independent living skills training. Being married, active participation in vocational intervention, social support, prior work experience, high score on Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale were found to be associated with better education and employment outcomes. Implications for research, and practice are discussed.