As a Mental Health Navigator with The School District of Lee County, Chantel uses her own experience and a master’s degree in social work to help families understand, navigate resources and learn to advocate for themselves. It is not just the school children who are referred that she works with, she helps to stabilize the entire family. “Everything is not directly related to mental health, but it can contribute to the well-being of the family overall, which helps everyone’s mental health.”
Help for families can take the form of providing transportation, from bus tickets to car repair, parenting classes, getting all support agencies on the same page and helping the other children in the family.
They are with the parents at schools, at the hospitals and at the doctor’s office, asking questions parents may not know to ask and helping clarify information. Navigators stay with the family as long as they are needed, but also work to create a support system and teach families how to make use of it.
The Mental Health Navigator program has a waiting list for families waiting for help, even as more people are becoming aware of the resource. “I think the Navigator program is doing very well, however, there is still more that we can do.”
You can help support the great work happening through our Mental Health Navigator Program to ensure we can reach more families.