The Community Navigator Project was piloted in 2008, by the Ministry of Housing and Social Development in partnership with CMHA BC with the objective of making it easier for people with mental illness to access government services and supports.
The program supported people with mental illness to access health services, income assistance and other supports that enable them to participate more fully in their communities, and experience an improved quality of life.
The specific goals of the program were:
- To provide direct support to individuals with mental illness to access income assistance, including Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) benefits as well as other income benefits available through all levels of government.
- To assist individuals to access health care services, to facilitate their application process and to provide the necessary medical services to maintain and enhance their health.
- To support individuals in the development of stronger personal support networks, which in turn may assist them in their community participation and in securing and/or maintaining housing, employment and volunteer opportunities.
To achieve these goals, the program hired and trained community navigators to work in five sites throughout BC. Navigators provided individualized support to clients with complex mental health issues, addictions and disabilities and assisted them in navigating the care they need.
The 2012 Community Navigator Project Evaluation Report includes a literature review, a policy scan, community-level feedback and an analysis of key indicators. Recommendations include expanding the program into an ongoing model.