NAVIGATE is a comprehensive evidence-based program designed to provide early and effective treatment to individuals who have experienced a first episode of psychosis.


  • Those between the ages of 16 and 25
  • Those living in Washington county or Bristol, VA
  • Those who have experienced unusual thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or sensations that aren’t typical
  • Those who are willing to work with the Navigate treatment team to address symptoms and concerns

First episode psychosis simply refers to the first time someone experiences psychotic symptoms or a psychotic episode. People experiencing a first episode may not understand what is happening. The symptoms can be highly disturbing and unfamiliar, leaving the person confused and distressed.


Phase 1: Prodome
The early signs may be vague and hardly noticeable. There may be changes in the way some people describe their feelings, thoughts and perceptions, which may become more difficult over time. Each person’s experience will differ and not everyone will experience all of the following “common signs”:

  • Reduced concentration
  • Decreased motivation
  • Depressed mood
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suspiciousness
  • Deterioration in functioning

Phase 2: Acute
The acute phase is when the symptoms of psychosis begin to emerge. It is also known as the “critical period.” Clear psychotic symptoms are experienced, such as hallucinations, delusions or confused thinking. During this phase, the person experiencing psychosis can become extremely distressed by what is happening to them or behave in a manner that is so out of character that family members can become extremely concerned and may start to seek help. Before this stage the individual may have been experiencing a more gradual decline.

Phase 3: Recovery
With effective treatment most people will recover from their first episode of psychosis and may never have another episode. It is important to remember that psychosis is a treatable condition and if help is sought early, an individual may never suffer another episode. Initially, some of the symptoms that are apparent in the acute phase may linger in the recovery phase but with appropriate treatment most people successfully recover and return to their normal, everyday lives.


  • Specialty Care Manager
  • Individual Therapist
  • Family Therapist
  • Adolescent Case Manager
  • Adult Case Manager
  • Student Assistant Counselors
  • Supported Employment and Education Coordinator
  • Psychiatrists

To learn more about the national NAVIGATE Program:

NAVIGATE is a program of Highlands Community Services. Highlands Community Services is a multi-faceted Community Service Board providing Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Intellectual Disability services to the residents of Bristol and Washington County, VA.

To make a referral, call 276.525.1550.

Highlands Community Services

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