Supporting young adult vision and goals is the art of collaborating with young adults and their care teams to encourage a vision for the future based on young
adults’ aspirations, promote goals that align with the vision, create a plan to reach the goals, and end services in a purposeful transition that encourages independent sustainability. Supporting young adult goals requires choosing effective approaches with the young adult, defining progress, and celebrating incremental steps toward their preferred future. Each step builds confidence that positive growth is occurring, even when setbacks interrupt the flow of progress. Using lived experience with purpose and intent to support young adult vision
and goals means:

  • Working with the care team to ensure that the young adult’s vision guides decisions and is integrated with other goals;

  • Focusing on aspirational life goals, such as education, employment, healthy relationships, and independence without allowing mental health challenges to decide what is attainable;

  • Supporting young adults in building the skills and structure they need to achieve both short-term and longer-term goals;

  • Working with YAs to overcome the behavioral health challenges that affect the transition to adulthood;

  • Acknowledging that growth is not linear and that the setbacks that will happen are part of the learning curve; and

  • Preparing a purposeful transition to greater independence.

“I had the opportunity to work with a young adult whose main barrier was self injury. Her vision was to live a life without having to rely on maladaptive coping methods....With my history, I was able to say to her with authenticity and full conviction… ‘I’ve been where you are. I know this looks daunting and impossible, but if you break it down you’ll find that you’ve already taken quite a few steps like I did. You reached out for help even though you were terrified of being judged. Have you stopped to think about how strong facing that actually makes you?’ I heard from her later, and she told me that she had heard this before but she believed it coming from me, specifically because she knew that I had lived it too and I wouldn’t lie to her about it." - Kristina Young Adult Peer Mentor