Meet Jodi, Mental Health Navigator

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.

Support the Navigator Program 

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Founded in 2016, Kids’ Minds Matter is a unified movement in Southwest Florida dedicated to advancing pediatric mental and behavioral health services. By developing clinical pathways to screen and treat patients, enhancing public awareness through education, and lobbying for systemic change and sustainable funding, Kids’ Minds Matter aims to align mental health providers, local agencies, the judicial system, law enforcement, schools and faith-based organizations. Kids’ Minds Matter is managed through the Lee Health Foundation.

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It’s Time to Act!

Did you attend the virtual Town Hall about the state of mental health in our community? (If not, view this impactful meeting by clicking below.) You can participate in improving mental health treatment in Southwest Florida in so many ways!