How should I approach?

For many different reasons, a person experiencing early psychosis may or may not reach out for help.

If you’re concerned about someone who has not explicitly approached you, reach out to them initially in a caring and non-judgmental way—ideally someone private, where they feel safe and comfortable. Start by asking open ended questions, and hearing their perspective on what’s been going on.  People are more likely to open up if they feel that you’re there to listen and be supportive.  

If the person approaches you because they want to talk about what they are experiencing but you do not have time to give them your full attention, you should explain this to them and offer to meet when you can give them your full attention.

In their own words

“I knew something was really wrong, but I was really scared to tell anyone…I thought they’d just think I was going crazy. So I did my best to hide it, even from my parents.”

“I was doing a lot of drugs, including LSD, and thought it was maybe just a bad trip.  I didn’t want my parents to know about the drug use, so I didn’t tell them, but then things got really bad.”