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Cornerstone Program for Transition-Age Youth and Young Adults

Cornerstone is a psychosocial program for youth transitioning to adulthood with serious mental health conditions. The program builds upon evidence-based practices to provide a consistent touchstone for young people during this developmental and systemic transition. With support from the National Institute of Mental Health, the program is currently being tested for feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary impact at an outpatient mental health clinic in New York City.

The investigative team, led by Dr. Michelle Munson of New York University, consulted with CACTI on adaptating key elements of CTI for Cornerstone. The team is integrating this adapted version of the three-phased practice approach of CTI. Cornerstone staff hone in on stabilization and engagement in Phase I, the “work” of 1 to 3 key transition goals in Phase II, and linking and strengthening the natural support network in Phase III. The Cornerstone model uses “Transition Planning Meetings” in Phase III to bring together all support network members to process and illuminate the young person’s strengths, hard work towards their health, and to develop a transition plan. The team is also examining the specific transitions that are critical to achieving independence (e.g., developmental, systemic), another element of CTI. The investigators hope to build upon the proven effectiveness of CTI, and bring these proven practices into mental health service provision for transition-age youth, an area of practice that has left professionals without answers for decades. Dr. Munson reports that the CACTI staff “have provided insights and ideas for us to think about as we have been working to refine this model for youth in transition. We hope that over time this model will reveal positive outcomes for young people, and ultimately set them on a path, a trajectory, for a life of recovery, a life where they can live many years into their adulthood feeling good about themselves.”

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