Explore This Treatment Program

The Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital is designed to address the unique developmental and clinical needs of transitional age youth between ages 18-26. The TAY Clinic provides outpatient diagnostic and consultative psychiatric evaluations, educates clinicians about providing care to this patient population and develops curriculum and guidelines on the care of these young patients.

Specialized Treatment for Young People

Transitional age youth face a number of critical developmental tasks including:

  • Heightened demands on executive functioning skills (organization, planning and abstract thinking)
  • Ongoing identity development
  • Management of increasingly complex social relationships
  • Role transitions, such as increasing independence from parents and going to college or the workforce

The prefrontal cortex, a region in the brain that plays an important role in negotiating these developmental tasks, does not reach full maturity until the mid-20s. As a result, transitional age youth face more adult-like challenges before they have mastered the tools and cognitive maturity of adulthood either psychologically or neurobiologically. It is noteworthy that three-quarters of all mental health disorders and substance use disorders begin before age 24.

In recent years, the number of students entering college with pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses has been increasing, and the severity of diagnoses seen in college mental health clinics has heightened. The transition from adolescence to adulthood can be particularly difficult for those struggling with psychiatric disorders.

The TAY Clinic aims to support young adults and their families as they manage this important developmental period.

Our Services

Who We Serve

The TAY Clinic serves individuals between the ages of 18-26 with behavioral and/or mental health concerns, including:

  • Academic difficulties
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Family conflict
  • Emotional regulation difficulties
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social and/or interpersonal issues
  • Substance use

Our Model of Care

Patients in the TAY Clinic undergo comprehensive diagnostic evaluations by psychiatry residents under the supervision of Mass General faculty members. These evaluations typically include an interview with the patient and his or her parents, followed by a consultation with outside providers or programs. We offer our patients and their parents’ education regarding the issues they are facing, as well as assistance with treatment planning.

Patients with a primary care physician at Mass General who need ongoing treatment are referred to treatment with providers at Mass General. We collaborate with many specialty clinics within the Department of Psychiatry at Mass General to ensure that youth receive care tailored to their individual needs.

For patients whose primary care physician is not at Mass General, we make referrals to outside providers.

Our Collaborators

The Transitional Age Youth Clinic collaborates with specialty programs both within the Department of Psychiatry at Mass General and within the community to ensure our patients receive care tailored to their individual needs.

Mass General Department of Psychiatry

Acute Psychiatry Service
Located within Mass General’s Emergency Department, the Acute Psychiatry Service (APS) addresses acute psychiatric, neuropsychiatric and substance-use emergencies in children and adults.

Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS)
Provides rapid access to information and support, combined with outreach and care management for youth ages 15-25 and their families suffering from substance-related problems.

Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
Teaches patients ways to counteract stress and build resiliency by eliciting the relaxation response.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Program
Teaches young people to apply CBT to a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders and medical issues, including anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, schizophrenia, pain and insomnia.

Family and Couples Therapy Program
Provides consultation, referral and therapy for young adults and their families.
Contact: 617-726-2725

First-episode and Early Psychosis Program
Evaluates and treats young people who are experiencing hallucinations or delusions and may be in the early stages of schizophrenia or a related psychotic illness.

Community-Based Resources

Boston Emergency Services Team
24-hour response services for youth and adults in need of crisis intervention for mental health and substance use concerns.
Contact: 1-800-981-HELP

Transition Resources and Community Supports
Resources to help young adults and their families to access support and establish meaning, connection and purpose in their lives, with a focus on relationships, wellness, spirituality, employment and recreation.