A Champion for Children & Families: Valerie Telemaque’s Role as a Mental Health Navigator

Valerie Telemaque

Valerie Telemaque is a dedicated Mental Health Navigator at Golisano Children’s Hospital. She focuses on assisting families with obtaining the necessary resources to help overcome life’s inevitable challenges, particularly those related to mental health. An experienced expert, Valerie is an invaluable, compassionate advocate for struggling families in our community.

A proud graduate of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Valerie earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Passionate about helping families that have experienced abuse and had children suffering from serious mental health conditions, Valerie knew that she wanted to be in a profession that would allow her to make a positive difference. Her career journey began with a six-month internship with the Department of Children & Families (DCF). During her internship, she gained valuable experience working with diverse families and realized she wanted to join the team full-time as a Child Protective Investigator (CPI).

Valerie’s role as a CPI involved handling complex cases that required her to be well-versed in matters related to mental health, medical neglect, and substance abuse. She was responsible for being the direct point of contact for several families in crisis, where her expertise and guidance were crucial in ensuring the safety of children. During her six years as a CPI, Valerie continued to elevate her professional education by completing numerous trainings, mainly related to child welfare and mental health. Additionally, she obtained and maintained certifications in child welfare and autism health. By expanding her knowledge and equipping herself with the latest and best practices in mental and behavioral health, Valerie could better serve the families in her charge.

That commitment to serving children and families with mental health needs led her to accept the position of Mental Health Navigator at Kids’ Minds Matter, where she works at Golisano Children’s Hospital. With a desire to establish a closer supportive relationship with the families she serves, Valerie brings a wealth of real-life experience and knowledge to her role. Being bilingual in Haitian-Creole and English, Valerie is able to offer more wrap-around care to families in our community, providing education on various aspects of mental health and helping them access supportive resources and services. Her dedication to assisting families to navigate the complexities of mental health is a true testament to her compassion and passion for service.

Mental Health Navigators, like Valerie, advocate for children and their families facing mental and behavioral health challenges. This specialized, philanthropic-supported program exists and thrives because of donors like you. Together, we are making a real difference in the lives of families in our community by helping ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to face challenges and live happier, healthier lives.