Early Psychosis Services for Youth and Young Adults

Group of diverse teen students talking to each other in a library

Early Psychosis Services through the Department of Mental Health aim to provide early intervention for youth and young adults ages 12-25 experiencing the early signs and symptoms of psychosis.  Services are available to youth who are at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) due to their developing symptoms, and those who have already experienced their first episode of psychosis (FEP) within the last two years.  Evidence has shown that by providing early intervention during the first phases of symptoms, youth can reduce the likelihood that early symptoms progress into a chronic psychotic disorder that could lead to symptom relapse, increased chances of hospitalization and the need for lifelong, intensive mental health treatment. 

PIER Early Psychosis Program

The PIER (Portland Identification and Early Referral Model) Early Psychosis Program is an outpatient mental health program that helps youth and their self-defined families learn how to build their coping skills, learn ways to manage stress that can trigger symptoms of psychosis, and receive the support they need to stay on track with their life goals. The PIER Program provides multidisciplinary services including multifamily group, individual therapy, medication services, peer and parent support and case management.

Have you noticed any of these changes in someone you know between the ages of 12-25?

  • Feeling suspicious or fearful of others, including people they have trusted before
  • Hearing sounds or voices, seeing visions, or experiencing strange sensations that others do not perceive
  • Odd or unusual behaviors or beliefs that are new and uncharacteristic for the person
  • Increased sensitivity to light, sound or touch
  • Difficulty with concentration, memory and attention
  • Difficulty communicating with and understanding others
  • Difficulties in school or work that are new, significant and progressive
  • Social withdrawal from friends and family

They may benefit from a confidential screening by a PIER staff member to help determine if they might benefit from Early Psychosis services. Please email the DMH Early Psychosis team at EarlyPsychosis@dmh.lacounty.gov.

Community Outreach, Education and Advocacy

Along with direct services to clients through the PIER Early Psychosis program, the Department of Mental Health also provides community outreach and education regarding Early Psychosis.  PIER programs and DMH Early Psychosis administrative staff provide workshops to help community members, youth, and other mental health professionals to recognize the signs of Early Psychosis.  The DMH First Episode Psychosis Assessment and Linkage Program (FEP) works to identify youth in Los Angeles who can benefit from the PIER Program.  The Department of Mental Health is also part of EPI-CAL, a Mental Health Services Act Innovation Project that establishes a statewide partnership of early psychosis programs throughout California with the goal of quality improvement through research and data.

For information about the PIER Early Psychosis Program, to make a referral for a confidential screening, or to schedule an educational workshop about how to recognize the signs of Early Psychosis in youth for your community group, please email DMH Early Psychosis at EarlyPsychosis@dmh.lacounty.gov.

View/download the PIER brochure (English / Español)

Know the Signs of Psychosis for Caregivers flyer (English / Español)

Know the Signs of Psychosis for Youth flyer (English / Español)


Mental Health Services Act – Innovation 8 – Early Psychosis Learning Health Care Network LACDMH

EPI-CAL Main Page

PEPPNET – A Early Psychosis resource directory from Stanford University