“When I knew the signs, I was able to help.”The PIER Model relies on Community Outreach to teach others the early signs of mental illness and provide a lifeline for youth with diminishing options. Empowering community members is vital in stopping the onset of mental illness.
Early detection can minimize the impact of severe mental illness in adolescents and young adults.
Individuals – including school professionals, therapists and physicians – who interact frequently with young people, are in a key position to detect early changes in a young person’s functioning and behavior.
The Community Outreach component of the PIER Model:
- Educates key audiences about the importance of early detection and intervention
- Empowers family and community members with the information and tools to recognize the early signs of severe mental illness
- Establishes a community network of “early identifiers”
- Develops and maintains relationships with community agencies, which are critical for the identification and treatment of severe mental illness in adolescents and young adults
Community education is carried out by the PIER team staff, reaching out to schools, colleges, physicians and therapists, as well as clinics, hospitals and emergency services.