Sudbury

Sudbury hospital to pilot 'youth navigator' job to help teens after mental health treatment

A new pilot position at Sudbury's hospital is slated to help teens navigate follow up care after they've received mental health treatment.

Currently, youth mental health patients are referred to their doctor or services in the community

Health Sciences North clinical manager Mary Jago says a new position at Sudbury's hospital will help teens with follow-up mental health care they're discharged from care. (Roger Corriveau / CBC)

A new pilot position at Sudbury's hospital is slated to help teens navigate and access follow-up care after they've received mental health treatment.

Officials with Health Sciences North said a "youth navigator" will be in place later this month, after the hospital received a grant from the Royal Bank of Canada for the five-year  project.

"Sometimes, after somebody has come from assistance with mental health, there's a little bit of stigma or difficulty and they might be embarrassed to follow up with services," said Mary Jago, a clinical manager at the hospital.

"Or ... they feel like the crisis is passed and they no longer require services."

The worker will meet with patients before they leave the facility, and check in with the teens after they go home, Jago said — adding that the staff member will make sure young people can access the necessary resources after they go home.

"Having somebody who will reach out to them and just check in, see how they're doing, makes it easier and safer for them to follow through with services," she said.

During the five-year pilot, Jago said the youth navigator position will be assessed to see how beneficial it is and what can be improved upon.

The hospital hopes to develop it into a full-time, permanent position, she added.