Even though her mother was a mental health case manager, Portia does not feel her mother had all the resources needed then to deal with her sister’s mental health struggles.
Portia started her mental health advocacy by trying to help her own family. She understands how frustrating it can be to be in the middle of a crisis and feel like no one understands.
“I know how easy it is to give up if you don’t have the help,” she said. “I think it’s all about empowering people to make sure they have the resources and to know where to get help.”
Now as a mental health navigator, she feels she can do more than she could as a mental health clinician, through the Navigator program’s wrap-around approach. She can help families understand that she will be there with them and help them become advocates for their own children while learning how to better navigate on their own through tools she gives them along the way.
Sometimes, parents have mental health issues they are not dealing with, and she is able to direct them to resources, providing help to the whole family beyond the child’s mental health issues. The program is multi-faceted to help families in many ways including medical, housing, employment, transportation. Whatever is needed to help the child and family be successful.
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