Family Navigation Project


Finding the right help for a child struggling with mental health can be confusing, terrifying and isolating. Even for the most resourceful parents, navigating the mental health system is overwhelming. One of our children was at the epicenter, but mental health touches everyone in the family. Our family navigator helped me narrow down our options. With a team of professionals, our navigator was able to guide me, counsel me and support me throughout the process, and through some of my darkest moments. Thank you FNP for being there as a support system and an invaluable resource.

If I could use one word to describe all of you, it would be ‘present’. In every conversation you have all been so there, in the moment with me.

It’s easy to know who to see for a heart ailment (cardiologist) or for kidney disease (nephrologist), but who does my son see for this - a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist? And where is the best place? And what about us as parents? How do we support him during his low periods? This is where the FNP has been an absolute blessing. By speaking to us and our son, FNP was able to suggest which specialty they felt would be most ideal initially. They suggested names and were there for us while he waited for his first appointment. FNP has been a much needed and valued guiding light for our family.

Patient privacy laws can create a barrier to care when families are blocked from the referral process and the patient is not able to adequately advocate for themself. FNP took these factors into account and worked with all of us to find the most appropriate treatment options, while still respecting our daughter’s autonomy and privacy.

FNP is a lighthouse that guides you on a journey where you feel lost as a parent. I am grateful! I felt empowered and calmer so I could move forward with truly helping and advocating for my son. After months of refusal, he was finally able to speak with a psychologist that was the right fit for him, with flexibility he was able to feel comfortable talking. There is no magical wand that will fix everything, it takes acceptance, time and patience but it can only start with the right tools during the storm to keep us on that path towards the light. We needed a guide during our storm and that was Sunnybrook's FNP!

Your service is excellent and this program is amazing! I would have been lost without it and it’s so helpful to have the choices narrowed down by a professional who’s had experience. Otherwise it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

FNP always provides such comfort, reassurance and clarity in the maze of mental illness. They always seem to know the right solutions and provide a promise for a brighter future.