Transition Age Youth (TAY)

Transition Age Youth (TAY) Services is a program of Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority (SCCMHA) that helps youth and young adults, ages 14 to 21, with emotional and behavioral challenges. It guides these consumers from adolescence to a life of independent adulthood, and it offers individualized support to adapt and manage complex situations that often occur during changing times.

Supervised by Hannah Rousseau and staffed by a team of three others, TAY currently has 27 consumers, with an average age of 17 to 19. It helps them explore, develop and achieve their self-determined goals for education, employment, living, social and community support, physical and mental health, and well-being. Services range from task-specific skill building with a peer to intensive counseling with a therapist.

“Youth with emotional and behavioral challenges have a much higher risk than their peers for under-education, underemployment, unstable housing, substance use disorder and criminal justice involvement,” Rousseau said. “TAY is a bridge between childhood and adulthood that helps them avoid these problems. We identify what services and skills each consumer needs and provide them. I like to call it ‘Adulting 101.’”

Cristiana Brenner is a 21-year-old who has been in TAY for about six months. Having been in and out of counseling since the age of seven, she said the program has had a strong impact on her life. She now lives independently, works two jobs and dreams of someday being a counselor.

“They really cared,” she said. “They showed me what I needed to do in order to do what I wanted to do. They pushed me in the right direction. TAY definitely helped prepare me for the outside world.”

For more information on TAY, contact SCCMHA at 800-258-8678.