It can feel overwhelming when someone you care about is struggling. Learning how to support them is a key part of recovery, and can help you feel more hopeful and confident as an ally.

We’re here to help you find the information and resources you need to be the best ally you can be (and take care of yourself, too!)

Research has found that support from family and friends can lead to greater well-being, faster recovery from mental illness, and stronger engagement in one’s community.

(Bjorlykhaug, 2021)

How to know when a young person needs mental health support

Changes in mental health are a normal part of day-to-day life – all of us experience changes in mood, energy, and stress levels depending on what’s going on in our lives. These temporary shifts usually improve within a few days or weeks, often with the support of the people closest to us.

But sometimes, changes in mental health don’t resolve on their own and may benefit from professional support. These types of mental health challenges are also normal, affecting nearly 1 in 5 teens and young adults. Determining the right time to reach out for professional support, not to mention finding the right kind of support, can be difficult.

Coordinated Specialty Care teams specialize in early psychosis, which is a term used to describe a range of experiences that relate to changes in how we process information and interpret the world around us. These experiences can look and feel different for each person, but here are a few indicators that a young person may benefit from professional support:

Signs to look for:

  • Withdrawing from friends, family, typical activities and social events
  • Having sudden trouble focusing, organizing thoughts, or understanding what others are saying
  • Seeming confused about which events are real and imaginary
  • Seeing or hearing things that others cannot
  • Thinking that others are watching or talking about them

Questions you can ask yourself:

  • Is their their typical routine impacted, such as school work, hobbies or activities, and/or socializing?
  • Having sudden trouble focusing, organizing thoughts, or understanding what others are saying
  • Are the changes you’re noticing becoming increasingly intense?

When in doubt, remember that there isn’t a wrong time to reach out for professional support. Tools like therapy can be beneficial for self discovery and personal growth, so if someone you care about is struggling, you don’t have to wait to answer ‘yes’ to these questions to start exploring options together.

Click below to learn more and contact your nearest team. If you or someone you know is in need of immediate support, please check out crisis resources.

“I hope to help individuals discover their resilient qualities to pursue their goals, despite the circumstances they may be experiencing.

– Lorissa, Individual Resiliency Therapist, Grand Rapids team

I began to learn to ask for help. It’s really beneficial to talk with someone who has that lived experience – who actually has had psychosis.

– NAVIGATE Program Participant

To find a place that worked exclusively on mental health recovery was such a relief. The entire staff provided encouragement, hope, and even social activities to help our daughter connect with other participants.

– Kevin & Shelly, Parents of NAVIGATE Program Participant


  • Recovery is expected
  • Every day, we witness young people overcome challenges, embark on new beginnings & get back to the things that matter to them
  • It’s not your fault
  • We’re here to support the whole family in a healing process, including letting go of guilt, developing effective coping skills, and practicing stress reduction techniques 
  • You are not alone
  • We understand what you’re going through because we’ve been there, too. Family Peer Partners guide families through the recovery process 
  • Earlier care can speed recovery
  • Just like any other health concern, the earlier we get mental health support, the sooner we can start feeling better, and the more fully we can get back to life


Our mission is to make it easier for Michiganders to get quality information and support for teen & young adult mental health concerns. Check out the resources below to get started.

Take the mental
health check

Find out if the
person you’re concerned about might benefit from Coordinated Specialty Care

Find support
near you

Learn more about Coordinated Specialty Care, and get connected quickly to your nearest team

Tap into the
resource library

Learn how to support & communicate with your loved one, and get self-care tips for caregivers

Stories from our

Hear from young people and their families about their experiences moving
through a recovery journey

Our website is not monitored 24/7, nor can we offer advice.
If you are in crisis, check out crisis resources, or text or call 988 for immediate support.