Mental Health Navigator Service
Speaking with a volunteer
The goal of the Mental Health Navigator is to connect EA community members with mental health support and resources. Community members who are struggling to find the support they need may wish to speak with one of our volunteer navigators, who try to connect community members with mental health services that have the greatest potential to be effective sources of support (e.g., are within one's budget, or free of charge; provide remote services; and provide specialist support, among others). The Mental Health Navigator Service is free of charge.
The process of speaking with a volunteer begins with filling out the 'Book a consultation' form below, or emailing the Mental Health Navigator Project Manger at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Project Manager will then send you a Confidentiality Agreement to sign and schedule a consultation.
All of our volunteers undergo training through the Mental Health Navigator before starting with their navigator duties, and all of volunteers involved in the consultations side of the Mental Health Navigator (referred to as the Navigator Service) receive Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training through an accredited MHFA course before they begin meeting with community members.
The consultation process
Consultations generally last anywhere from 10-30 minutes and are opportunities for you and a volunteer navigator to discuss both what you're looking for and what barriers to access you're experiencing. After the consultation, the volunteer navigator will research resources and send you a list of options. These options may not be limited to therapy, but may include a range of resources, such as workbooks and support groups.
One month after sending a list of resources, the volunteer navigator will reach out to check-in and see how things are going. If you need some extra help, no problem! That's what we're here for! We'll then do some further digging to see what else we can find.
At the end of the consultation process, we'll send you a feedback survey. Though we'd greatly appreciate any feedback you'd like to provide, this survey is optional.
Potential areas of counsel
Throughout the consultation process, volunteer navigators may provide information on the following:
Comparisons between mental health care provider options
Overcoming accessibility obstacles
Refer to local services with free and/or immediate counseling
Find virtual services
Who can prescribe medication and how to refill prescriptions
Comparisons between different approaches to therapy/counseling
Programs for specific conditions or needs
Advice on switching providers
Please note that the above does not include information on understanding insurance policies. It is up to the individuals seeking help to understand their own insurance policies, as it is not in the power of the Navigator Service to obtain this information. We are happy to help community members narrow down a list of mental health providers covered by their insurance and available in their respective areas, however, it is up to community members to consult with their insurance companies to obtain this list.
Please note that we at the Mental Health Navigator ARE NOT LICENSED PSYCHOLOGISTS OR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS. Our role is to help connect you with professional resources.
Book a consultation
Thank you for your interest in booking a consultation with the EA Mental Health Navigator Service. As of February 9, 2022, we are temporarily suspending bookings as we register as a non-profit, ensure we are GDPR compliant, and move our consultations process to a new, more secure platform.
We plan reopen for bookings in autumn 2022 and look forward to serving you again soon.
Curious about what we've been up to? Click here for our latest progress report!
If you would like to receive a notification of when we have re-opened for consultations bookings, please fill out this form.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Navigator Service! We are not currently accepting applications for volunteers, but will update this space and our social media pages once we start recruiting again. Again, a big thank you for your support and enthusiasm for this project!
The Navigator Team
Watch this space for profiles of our volunteers, which coming to the website soon!
Emily Jennings studied neuroscience and linguistics (with a specialization in human emotions and empathy) before joining the Mental Health Navigator as the new part-time project manager in October 2021.
Danica Wilbanks graduated from Whitman College with a B.A. in Psychology. In college, she trained students in active listening techniques and crisis management and completed a practicum with a licensed psychologist. After college, she worked as a high school English instructor in Spain. Along with Nuño Sempere, Jaime Sevilla, and EA Spain, she designed the 2019 EA Mental Health Survey and later launched the Navigator program. Today, she studies moral psychology as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina.
Julia Wise studied sociology and social work, and worked as a mental health clinician before joining the Centre for Effective Altruism as a community liaison in 2015. She is helping add more resources to this website.