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How to navigate the mental health care and addiction systems

Father and son
Monica Matys
Written by Monica Matys

There are great resources available, but it can be difficult finding your way through the mental health care and addiction systems. Where do you start? What resources are available? And how can you be sure you are getting the care you need for yourself or a loved one? At Sunnybrook’s latest Speaker Series, How to Navigate the Mental Health Care and Addiction Systems, experts offered practical advice and some inside knowledge to help.

Focus groups done in 2010 revealed that many families were unable to access appropriate mental health care for their youth in a timely fashion. Initiated by parents and led by medical director Dr. Anthony Levitt, the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook was developed. This service is aimed towards families and caregivers of youth and youth themselves, aged 13-26 living in the Greater Toronto Area. Through a blend of expert clinical care, and also the knowledge of lived experience, navigators help connect people to the right care at the right time.

The Family Navigation Project is a free service that can be accessed through phone or e-mail. A navigator is assigned to each patient who follows them through the process of care, and there is also a team of experts to help collaborate on that care. They have wide knowledge about the types of resources available and how best to access them.

To date, this service has provided navigation services for over 1,300 families. To find out more, visit the Family Navigation Project website or call 1-800-380-9FNP.

And to hear from more experts who spoke at the Speaker Series event — including some insider tips on how to best communicate with your care provider — check out the full webcast.

About the author

Monica Matys

Monica Matys

Monica Matys is a Communications Advisor at Sunnybrook.

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