Navigate Program Initiated


On October 1, 2014 InterAct began implementation of its new pilot program funded by a grant from Network 180 to treat individuals ages 15-30 experiencing a first episode of psychosis. This program is part of a nationwide effort to improve symptoms, reduce episodes of relapse, and prevent deterioration and disability for the target population.  Our program utilizes the National Institute of Mental Health RAISE model which we are operating under the program name Navigate.  Our team has received specialized training and on-going technical assistance as part of the pilot.  InterAct’s Grand Rapids Site Director Travis Swieringa states, “We are fortunate to have been able to hire a skilled group of clinicians to lead the Navigate project and bring a youth-oriented focus to engage participants.”  Our team includes:


  • Carey Laarman, LMSW is the Navigate Team Supervisor.  She is the lead contact for referrals and may be contacted directly at (616) 259-7921.  She conducts intakes, assessments, and works with family education and care. 
  • Sarah Exoo, LMSW is the Individual Resilience Trainer who works one-to-one with people in the program and helps with care management, as needed.
  • Sara VanDrie, GCDF, ETS is the Supported Employment/Education specialist who brings her many years of experience in the field to help participants achieve their education and employment goals.
  • Dr. Kathy Speeter is our Nurse Practitioner assigned to develop effective medication strategies for Navigate participants.


Navigate is a limited enrollment program that will serve up to 30 people at a time.  It is our hope that the pilot will eventually become a permanent part of InterAct’s service array.