Transitional Age Youth Outreach Project

The Transitional Age Youth Outreach (TAY) Project seeks to create a space within On Our Own of Maryland’s peer network of Wellness & Recovery Centers for the activities and conversations of young adults between the ages of 18 and 30.  Our mission is to empower youth with mental health and/or substance use struggles to share their experiences and speak out about the kind of help and services they’d like to see within the system where they receive care.  This project hopes to foster a sense that the life experiences of young adults are full of unique insight and that they are able to reach out and touch the lives of other young adults through peer support and to advocate for a behavioral health system which adequately addresses their needs and honors their voices.


Click here for a TAY Project Brochure

Click here for the Final Recommendations Report

What Helps, What Harms Maryland is a year-long project initiative recently launched by OOOMD’s T.A.Y. Project in partnership with Maryland Coalition of Families’ Taking Flight, which will infuse the youth and young adult voice into strategic policy actions and planning structures for systemic change in the state of Maryland.  As we have the full support of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), the project will use the information obtained during these groups to leverage the young adult voice and include its insight in service planning for the behavioral health service system in Maryland.  Discussion forums will be held with young adults ages 18-29 years old who have and/or are receiving services in any Maryland service system.

What Helps What Harms is an initiative for young adults to spend time with one another in facilitated discussions analyzing their community network, resources, services, and environment.  The discussion prompt will be simple so that the conversation remains truly directed by the young adult participants.  It will ask “Of all the systems you have been involved with (education, behavioral health, physical disability services, juvenile justice, peer-run services, employment services, etc.)  what about its set-up, services, and service delivery has helped you (move forward into adulthood, recovery etc.), what has harmed you or created barriers for you moving forward, and what changes would you make that would benefit you in reaching your goals and becoming who you want to be?”

For more information about the model and original project, you can visit:


How You Can Help:

We would love to come to your group to host a discussion group! We will travel to any location in Maryland for at least 3 young adults (must be 18 and over) and lunch/dinner will be provided for each group. We will also help with the marketing tools in order to recruit interested young people.

If you would like more information, have questions, or to schedule a discussion group, contact:

Lauren Grimes

Director of Network and Peer Services

410-504-9020 x 14






Reader/Roadmap Submissions

Calling for Submissions! 

We hope to compile a collection of expressions of experiences, in the form of poetry, memoir, art, comics (because humor helps!), editorials, interviews, or any other medium of which you can think.  Submissions will be put into a publication to be distributed through-out the behavioral health system so we might begin the process, with all invested parties, of exploring mental illness and addiction in the way that it is actually experienced. We want to talk about madness, dreams, trauma, guilt and shame, self-harm, resilience, sex & relationships, medication, community, recovery, mania, addiction, and yes, “Isn’t insanity a logical reaction to an insane world?”

Flier for Art Submissions


Policy Cheat Sheets for Young Adults

YA Cheat Sheet – Behavioral Health Integration and Health Care Reform


Youth Policy Involvement

There are 2 very important bills regarding national policies on youth mental health being introduced this Congress session.  They are called The Mental Health in Schools Act and The Mental Health First Aid Higher Education Act.  Below is a template for a letter of support which you can send to members of the House and Senate.  It is a super easy way you can show your support for youth and young adult mental healthcare, or (even better) you can write your own personal letter if you choose!  Simply insert your name and role in the mental health system (optional) into the letter and mail your letter of support with your favorite stamp to:

Committee on Energy & Commerce                                   Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions
2125 Rayburn House Office Building                                 428 Senate Dirksen Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                        Washington D.C. 20510

Letter of Support for MH in Schools & MHFA Higher Education Acts

Committee on Finance                                                           Committee on Education & the Workforce                                      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Letter of Support for Youth MH Accessibility & Keeping All Students Safe Acts


The Impact of Health Care Reform on Services and Supports for Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions 

What Needs to Be Done to End Youth Homelessness
by Jessica Rowshandel

Learning to Cope with a Mind’s Taunting Voices
by Benedict Carey

Drugs Used for Psychotics Go to Youths in Foster Care
by Benedict Carey

Baltimore’s Homeless Youth Make Do in a City That Doesn’t Know They’re There
by Andrea Appleton

Housing Guides for Young Adults

Young Adult’s Guide to Housing

This is a resource taken from California CASA Association. For more information visit their website at

Helpful Links

Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health

National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health


RTC for Pathways to Positive Futures  –

New Lens –

Cafe TA Center

It Get’s Better Project



Icarus Project

Taking Flight Youth Council-

Independence NOW-

For more information, please contact Rowan Powell, TAY Outreach Coordinator, at:

(Phone) 410-540-9020
(Toll Free) 1-800-704-0262

On Our Own of Maryland’s TAY Outreach Project is made possible by a grant funded by the
Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.