Meet Peggy, Mental Health Navigator

Peggy worked as a press officer and later in public relations in her home in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2014. There she worked as a community engagement coordinator at a Title 1 school and became certified as a community health worker.

Her innate nature to help the less fortunate and opportunity to be involved in the new program drew her to become a Mental Health Navigator. Her brother was diagnosed with chronic anxiety, which was not seen as a mental illness at the time. She knows the challenges, struggle, unhappiness and fear that her brother, now an adult, still faces.

Her job is to work closely to help families, most of them led by single-parent mothers. She works with compassionate community partners to make sure the needs of the whole family are met, including financial, with the understanding that those needs are critical for everyone’s mental and behavioral health.

In addition to building relationships with people who can help the families, she knows it is important to build relationships of trust with the families, so that she can keep them accountable and help them learn to be self-sufficient.

“It’s a team effort, and we have to nurture those relationships and let them know how indispensable they are and that without them, it could not be done,” she said. “We all work to open more doors and make more things possible for these families.”

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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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