Everyone can be a navigator – including you! Navigators are essential in helping individuals and families connect to trusted and relevant mental health and addictions services and supports.
In the report “Navigation: Finding Our Way Together Report” navigators were asked to explain the essential characteristics of being a good navigator. We consistently heard that navigators need to be empathetic, relentless, empowering and understanding. They should be skilled in building trusting relationships and understand how systems work. They need full support from their organizations to develop and use these characteristics, competencies and skills.
Key highlights from the findings include:
- Activating competencies and personal characteristics matter – we heard that navigators are better able to successfully navigate clients when they are relentless and assertive
- Building relationships with clients and other service providers is key to navigation
- Navigators need to understand how the systems they are navigating work and understand how services they are referring clients to work
- All organizations need to provide an environment conducive to building relationships and maintaining them.