Information for Support Persons

Why should I take part in the YST intervention?

Adolescents who are experiencing emotional difficulties can benefit from extra support and healthy connections from adults in their lives. In YST, adults that adolescents nominate receive tailored education on adolescent mental health, as well as ideas for how to be the most supportive to adolescents. Adolescents who have participated in YST in the past have benefited from the support provided by caring adults around them.

Why was I nominated to be a YST Support Person?

Adolescents in YST nominate adults that they trust and feel close to. YST Support Persons are typically nominated because they are someone who the adolescent identified as caring and because the adolescent would like to receive additional support from them.

What is the role of a YST Support Person?

The role of the YST Support Person is to connect with and provide the youth with emotional support on a regular basis, to encourage adherence with recommended treatments, and, if opportunities arise, to help the youth to make positive behavioral choices. The Support Person is prepared for this role through their participation in an education meeting where they learn about the youth's needs and treatment plan. The Support Person also is offered weekly, supportive check-in calls with YST staff. The idea is for the Support Person to maintain regular contact with the adolescent for the 3-month period after the educational meeting. Contact will likely vary and can include in person visits, phone calls, video chatting, and texting. The Support Person’s role is simply to listen and encourage the adolescent to make good choices and follow-through with recommended treatments.

What if I have no experience with adolescents who are struggling?

Experience with adolescents is not necessary to be part of YST. It is important to remember that the role of the Support Person is just to be supportive. Adolescents nominate their own Support Persons who they already trust and would like support from.

What if I am worried about an adolescent?

During the educational meeting, the intervention specialist will provide urgent and crisis resources in case Support Persons become concerned about the adolescent. Please visit our Youth Suicide Resources page for additional resources.

Intervention specialists will also be available for a 3-month period to answer non-urgent questions and discuss non-urgent concerns.