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Mental Health Supports for Emerging Adults

Where they are and what they do: A practices of interest directory

Emerging adults need access to the right mental health services.

Emerging adulthood is a developmental life stage that doesn’t fall within a specific span of years. It’s often roughly considered to occur between the ages of 14 and 25, though it can start as young as 12 and end as late as 30.

That wide variation in age ranges is part of why mental health services and supports for emerging adults need rethinking. About 75% of mental health problems and illnesses start during childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. Yet at 18 or 19 years old, many young people “age out” of the youth mental health care system—because many policies and programs are based on age, not need. This forces a transition into adult services when an individual might not be ready for them, or a potentially long wait if those services are at capacity.

With suicide one of the leading causes of death of people in Canada between 15 to 24, limited access to the right mental health services is a pressing issue. We need to make the mental health system work better for emerging adults.

About this directory

We drew the practices in this directory from the submissions of more than 600 people across the country who applied to be part of the MHCC Advisory Group on the Mental Health of Emerging Adults in 2017. While the following is by no means an exhaustive list, it offers service providers, program administrators, system planners and policy makers insight into ways the mental health system and programming can be improved. All the practices collected here support the 4 priority recommendations identified by the advisory group after the consensus conference.

How to use this directory

Practices are grouped by region and by type:


  • National/International
  • Territories
  • Western
  • Central
  • Eastern


  • Networks
  • Programs, Services and Initiatives
  • Resources
  • Research

Where an evaluation report has been completed, it is noted—with a link to the report if it’s publicly available. If you’re interested in an evaluation report that isn’t available publicly, we encourage you to reach out to the organization and request to see it.

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