By: Adam Moore
The Department of Mental Health
An innovative program called NAVIGATE, offered at select Community Mental Health Centers across Mississippi, helps treat symptoms that meet the criteria for first episode psychosis.
The program offers hope for qualified patients aged 15-30 who have experienced symptoms like trouble thinking clearly, confusion about thoughts or voices that aren’t real, or paranoia for no more than one year.
“One of our top goals is for patients to receive treatment for mental illness while remaining in their community,” said Wendy Bailey, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. “Hope for recovery is within reach. The main thing is to recognize common signs and symptoms and seek help as early as possible, when research shows treatment is most effective.”
Essential to NAVIGATE is a team-based approach that builds skills and social support through evidence-based treatment that includes therapy, case management, medication management, family education, and life skills training.
“As the program went along, I was able to learn about my mental health, receive feedback, a great counselor/therapist, and medicine,” said a recent NAVIGATE program participant. “With those great tools, I am now able to recognize things that trigger my condition.”
In 2022, the NAVIGATE program expanded to new areas of Mississippi, with four additional programs funded in Community Mental Health Centers: Region 2 Communicare in Oxford; Region 4 Mental Health Services in Corinth; Region 7 Community Counseling Services in West Point; and Region 14 Singing River Services in Gautier. Eighty-three youth and young adults received NAVIGATE services last year, an increase of nine percent from the previous year.
Individuals or families in Mississippi who think they might qualify for NAVIGATE should contact the Mississippi Department of Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-210-8513.