There should be supported education programs with pre-admissions, counseling, financial planning, peer support groups, training and information sharing among staff and service providers.

State Programs:

Oakland, CA – Mentoring center provides Youth-in-Transition with mental illness mentoring. The mentoring program has dramatically reduced the rate of recidivism from 91% to 15%.

The Mentoring Center works with the most at risk youth, many of who are either incarcerated or have been formerly incarcerated. They provide a transformative mentoring approach to serve highly at risk youth through a structured systemic and corrective intervention.

They provide a curriculum based training that is long term. The curriculum is designed for character development, cognitive restructuring, spiritual development, life skills training, anger management and employment skills. After the curriculum training, the staff works with them in education assistance, employment training, job placement, housing, transportation and referrals to mental health and substance abuse services.

Young Adults United – Youth leadership groups are comprised of 15-25 year-olds with mental illness. The program works to help mentor individuals in the Connecticut Young Adult Services (YAS) program. (Connecticut Web Page)

Expert Recommendations:
Voices of Youth Report in Massachusetts
Youth Mentoring Programs – voiced their interest in services, such as mentors for younger kids. Also, it was recommended to develop curriculum for Peer Mentors.

2006 Social Policy Report on Understanding and Facilitating the Youth Mentoring Movement:
According to the 2006 Social Policy Report, mentoring relationships are much more likely to provide positive outcomes and avoid harm when they are close, consistent and enduring

The report also stated that there is a close emotional connection between youth and mentors when they are fostered by factors resembling those identified as important in effective therapeutic relationships such as empathy and authenticity.

Tunnels and Cliffs
Mentoring – self-determination models have been very successful in helping youth meet a number of personal and career goals.

Peer mentors – a peer mentorship system should be established. The role of the mentor is to help the youth with goals and advice in a supportive and friendly manner. Peer mentors can work with school systems including residential schools for youth.