Transitioning From Elementary to High School

Entering middle school/junior high and high school is a stressful transition for students and can be especially difficult for children struggling with mental health challenges. Information on the process of transitioning mental health care from the elementary to the high school provider and how it can benefit your child can be found below.  Email us if you have questions.

Transitioning to Adulthood

Transitioning mental health services from the child system to the adult system can be difficult. Below are some resources to help you with the process.

NAMI published a newsletter with a collection of articles and resources for families about transitional aged youth (ages 16-24) titled “Negotiating the Transition-Age Years” Download the Newsletter ».

General Resources
Special Programs for Transitional 14-22 Aged Youth

These programs offer assistance for transitional aged youth in Hamilton County. All programs serve clients regardless of insurance type, but have separate requirements for eligibility.

Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services

Transitional Aged Youth Services
1501 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45206

This program smooths the transition from children’s mental health services to adult mental health services for clients ages 16 – 22 who have been receiving services from the children’s system. The Transitional Aged Youth Program supports youth with their mental health and emotional issues, education, employment, housing and increasing natural supports.

Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board

JOURNEY to Successful Living
2350 Auburn Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

This program engages community partners, youth, young adults and families to support young adults with the transition to adult services, promote young adult voice and choice and coordinate and deliver services that meet the individual needs and differences of young adults and their families. Services that are offered include: case management, crisis/emergency services, diagnostic assessment, housing options including respite, and vocational and employment support.

Youth referred to JOURNEY must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Must be between the ages of 14 – 21 years old and a Hamilton County resident
  2. Limited functioning in the family, school or community;
  3. Have a mental health diagnosis as defined by the DSM-IV or subsequent revisions AND
  4. Be at risk for involvement with other systems, such as developmental disability services, child welfare, juvenile or adult criminal systems or have failed out of school.

IKRON Youth Services
2347 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH. 45219

The integrated vocational programs help bridge the gap for youth, ages 14-24, transitioning to the world of work. The curriculum is designed to assist youth in planning a career, completing trial work experience (including IKRON’s Summer Youth Program), and obtaining & maintaining employment.

Turning 18: Your Insurance Options

Help for Families with Medicaid

Your child will need to contact MHAP at 555-5888 to access and start services. MHAP is the “access door” to mental health services offered to the public in Hamilton County.

If you believe your child is Medicaid eligible but is not currently enrolled you can access information on Medicaid eligibility requirements and print a copy of the Medicaid application at

Your child will need to complete the Medicaid Application and bring (or mail) to:

Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services
222 E. Central Pkwy., 1st Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45202
or Fax to (513) 946-1076

If your child is already enrolled in Medicaid services, MHAP will initiate the proper paper work necessary for transition. You will need to discuss transition plans and services that your child will need as an adult with your current providers. Providers can often suggest referrals for adult services. Here are some additional resources:

Financial Issues at Transition
If your child is already enrolled in Medicaid services, you will need to notify JFS of this child’s 18th birthday so that you can complete the proper paperwork required to continue their benefits.

Help for Families with Private Insurance

If your child is eligible to remain on your insurance, you will need to discuss with your current providers specific transition plans and services that your child will need as an adult. Providers can often suggest other local colleagues or providers that serve adults.

Financial Issues at Transition
You will need to check with your insurance carrier regarding your specific policy, though usually children are able to remain on parental insurance policies if they are continuing in educational pursuits. You may need to provide documentation of this to your insurance.


A guardianship is a relationship where one person has the legal authority and duty to care for another’s person or property, due to the other person’s minority, incapacity, or disability. The person who is incapacitated, disabled, or a minor is called the “ward.” The person who is appointed by the court to be responsible for the ward’s person or property is called the “guardian.”

A person can be rendered “incompetent” and can require a “guardian” if they are mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability, or mental retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse or if he or she is incapable of taking proper care of himself or herself, his or her property, or his or her family.

Application Process for Guardianships
An application for guardianship is filed in the probate court of the county where the proposed ward resides. The application must include a statement of the guardian’s willingness to perform as guardian. A bond may also be required. In the case of a prospective incompetent ward, the application must also include a statement of the ward’s mental and physical condition from a treating physician, psychiatrist, or licensed psychologist. The prospective ward and family members are notified of the impending guardianship and date and time of hearing. The court holds a hearing to determine: if a guardianship is necessary, to determine if the guardian is suitable, and to ensure that the guardian understands his or her duties.