Information for Adolescents and Families

Who can teens nominate?

Teens are invited to nominate adults they trust and feel may be support to them. These adults can be from their extended family, school, neighborhood, or wider community. Adult support persons have included parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, as well as teachers, coaches, youth group leaders, spiritual leaders, neighbors, and the parents of friends. If the teen is under 18 years of age, we check-in with parents or guardians for approval of nominated support persons.

How are parents involved in the YST intervention?

Each youth may nominate up to one parent to be part of their Support Team. Some youth involve a parent and some do not, and this is fine. We assume that one or more of the youth's parents may be taking part, in some way, in the treatments recommended for the youth. We emphasize  that one of our goals is to extend youths' adult support networks beyond their parents. Parents/guardians must also approve adolescent’s nominations. 

Why is a social support network so important for adolescents?

Youth who are struggling with depression and hopelessness, or related emotional and behavioral concerns, benefit from healthy connections with adults in their lives. By facilitating the nomination of trusted adults and providing them with tailored education and support, YST creates an informed, caring network of adults for each young person. This may be particularly important after a suicide risk incident or other crisis resulting in an emergency department visit or hospitalization. It can be helpful for other adults to know something about what the adolescent is going through. These adults can provide support, encourage the adolescent to stick to their treatment plan, and make healthy choices.  

Will participating in YST change the rest of my treatment?

No. YST does not change the services that a young person receives in the emergency department or during hospitalization. YST is offered in addition to these services and was designed to complement other treatments, such as medication and psychotherapy. YST involves services to the caring adults on the young person's support team. The support team actually encourages adolescents to adhere with their treatment plan.