• Square pegs in round holes: the mental health needs of young adults and how well these are met by services – an explorative study

      Islam, Shahid (2011)
      Purpose – This research paper aims to examine the mental health needs of young adults and to discuss how well these are met from the vantage‐point of the patients. Young adulthood is identified as an epidemiological risk for developing mental health problems and so the care provided during these developmental years is investigated to assess efficacy and experience. Design/methodology/approach – After interviewing 35 young adults, it was found most people are aware of the genesis to their problems and have strong views about the level of support and types of treatments offered. Findings – Like other writings, this research finds that many of the needs presented by young adults are unique to this transitional phase in life and administratively determined age structures on which current mental health care is configured do not adequately meet these needs. Research limitations/implications – The small sample size (35) and the geographical region covered means caution should be exercised in drawing any generalisations. Further research on outcomes after the mid‐20s by reflecting on service experience during the 18‐25 transformational years would be a useful area for exploration. Practical implications – This paper makes some powerful recommendations on why service provision must meet service user needs and how the recent equality legislation may provide impetus to this. All of this needs to start with examining the age boundaries on which mental healthcare is designed.