After working with children in crisis for the state’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), Jodi became frustrated, feeling she was not able to help children. When she learned about a Mental Health Navigator position to work with children under Baker Act and their families at Golisano Children’s Hospital, she felt she could finally make a difference.
The Baker Act allows a person to be held for up to 72 hours for violent or suicidal signs of mental illness.
In the new position at the hospital, Jodi provides information to parents, and she works closely with families and children who have been through the Baker Act process more than once to help reduce readmittance.
Unlike her previous role, where families who had to comply with her actions, being a Mental Health Navigator allows her to walk with the families and empower them to help themselves. Decisions impacting the family and child are made together.
Helping the families of children who have been Baker Acted includes giving them the tools to help them understand what is happening with their child, how to de-escalate situations, how to plan for potential relapse and how to develop a crisis plan.