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Home » Mental Health Services » Teens & Young Adults 16-24

Teens and Transitional Age Youth

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Transitional Age Youth, sometimes referred to as TAY, are youth ages approximately 16-24 who are struggling with mental health issues and possibly alcohol and other drug issues. They face a uniquue set of additional challenges, as this is the typical time in a yound person's life when many transition to adulthood. This often entails preparing to advance to higher education, perhaps even go off to school, get a job, perhaps get married or move into a committed relationship, or move into a place of ones own. This brings enormous pressure from within as well as from society, including well meaning friends or family who ask about these things. Not moving forward, or not as fast as one had hoped, or watching ones friends or siblings move forward also adds pressure and can exacerbate a feeling of low self esteem.  Frequently, support is needed.

Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services (ACBHCS) has a brochure that illustrates the locations and describes the services for transitional age youth (TAY) at this link:


Often being with others with the same or similar struggles let's you know you are not alone and can develop a support network.  Joining an appropriate support group can be just such a link.

Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) - Medi-Cal

EPSDT is an entitlement for children, 0 up to age 21, who are Medi-Cal eligible and is designed to provide comprehensive mental health services that can correct or ameliorate mental health problems. These services often include coordination, case management, and an approach which includes family and other providers in the treatment plan.

Alameda County BHCS recently expanded EPSDT, increasing the amount of services billable under EPSDT and expanding the number of agencies in the County able to provide these services. The following target populations now have increased mental health services under EPSDT: • children in foster care • children with dual diagnosis of substance use and mental illness • school-based services.

Agencies utilizing EPSDT funding are generally able to take direct referrals from primary care providers of children with full-scope Medi-Cal. You can call ACCESS to get listings of participating programs.


Referrals for EPSDT mental health services can be made through ACCESS or by calling the agency directly.


(800) 491-9099 ACCESS / Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services 24-Hour Hotline


PREVENTION AND RECOVERY IN EARLY PSYCHOSIS (PREP) for youth and young adults, ages 16-24, who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis or who have done so within the last two years.  Call 888-535-PREP (7737) to make a referral.  To learn more go to www.askprep.org or call (510) 318-6100.


What a difference a friend makes.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the Mental Health Campaign for Mental Health Recovery to encourage, educate, and inspire people between 18 and 25 to support their friends who are experiencing mental health problems.  Discrimination and stigma have made it harder and harder for people with mental illnesses to keep a job, find a home, get health insurance, and find treatment.  The opportunity for recovery is more likely in a society of acceptance, and this initiative is meant to inspire young people to serve as the mental health vanguard, motivating a societal change toward acceptance and decreasing the negative attitudes that surround mental illness.

Click on the link for helpful information regarding youth ages 12-17.

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