Son and mother
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Our story

At the heart of the Family Navigation Project is a group of parents demanding change.

The parents who have been instrumental in conceiving and developing this project all experienced a strikingly similar, very difficult and painfully complicated course in seeking treatment services for their adolescent children with mental health and addictions issues. These parents set out to ensure future families wouldn't have to experience so many barriers to getting their children the help they need.

They were looking for a high-caliber, personalized service in which they could place their trust – a service that would match the youth and family with the right professional or program in a timely way, taking advantage of all available options including both public and private services and programs within Ontario and beyond. When they couldn't find one, they built one.

The Family Navigation Project would not be where it is today without the passion, guidance, and clinical expertise of Dr. Anthony Levitt. Formerly Sunnybrook’s Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Dr. Levitt spent four years channeling time and energy into hearing and responding to families' need for navigation. He has heard countless stories from families and youth of how there was no place to turn when they were in a mental health and/or addictions crisis or they weren’t getting the help that they needed. “Parents have told us they’ve waited months for help, only to be told they’re in the wrong line,” said Dr. Levitt.

Along with the parents who have driven this project forward, Dr. Levitt has already helped to navigate families unable to penetrate a system they see as a "black box" to the most appropriate services. But the need is far greater than our group can handle and the number of services to keep track of is much greater than can be tracked on a part-time basis. As a result of working with our founding parents and with feedback from so many desperate families, Dr. Levitt's commitment to this valuable project is now greater than ever. “With the Family Navigation Project, there is no wrong line. It gives families a way to start and a path to follow in their journey to recovery, with someone there to support them along the way.”

We would also like to acknowledge and thank consultants Adair Roberts and Dr. Nancy Schmidt for their equal passion and professional guidance in turning what was once an idea discussed around a kitchen table into an operationalized and viable program.

The Parent Advisory Council, Family Navigation Project

Read about successful patient stories.

Contact us

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) and are a youth (age 13 to 26) with mental health and/or addictions problems, or if you're a concerned family member, please call:

1-800-380-9FNP
(1-800-380-9367)

or email:

familynavigation@
sunnybrook.ca


You can leave a message and we will be in touch with you within one business day.

The Family Navigation Project is not a crisis response line; people who find themselves or their family member in an emergency situation must call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.