Neighbor to Neighbor: The Community Navigator

Posted:  Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 8:30am

Neighbor to Neighbor: A series of articles to raise awareness of suicide prevention and support resources available in our community. Sponsored by your local Hope & Resiliency Coalition

The Hope & Resiliency Coalition is a group of committed community members who gather regularly to support the both enhancement of suicide prevention as well as those impacted by suicide loss. We sponsor this series of articles to invite our neighbors to take advantage of the services and supports available in our community to assist those struggling with any number of challenges that could include hopelessness, loss, substance misuse or mental health related concerns.

Since forming in the summer of 2016, the Coalition has hosted multiple community and professional events in collaboration with others: Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club, Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, Boothbay Harbor Police Department, The Family Care Center, The Community Center, Boothbay Region Community Resource Council, New Hope for Women, Coulombe Center for Health Improvement, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, as well as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Maine) and Maine Center for Disease Control.

This is a third in a series of articles intended to share resources which are available to our neighbors.

What is the Community Navigator Program?

Boothbay region towns, churches and civic associations created the Boothbay Region Community Resource Council and Community Navigator office to be a single point of contact for people in need living in the peninsula towns of Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb and Southport.

What need does it serve?

The resource council was intended to prevent vulnerable families and individuals from falling through the cracks by providing a mechanism for towns and churches, first responders, health care providers and other service providers to coordinate to ensure efficient and effective use of logical resources in a compassionate setting. By working together, and using a model that empowers program participants to build confidence and needed skills, this community based social work model helps them help themselves set and achieve goals that are attainable.

The Navigator program began in 2011 with a single licensed social worker. Now, 2 social workers work closely with partners, including an addiction specialist that provides outreach to members of the community who are struggling with substance use and abuse.

The navigators help people navigate and access community resources, local and state benefits and assistance programs from housing, food, fuel and clothing to employment, budgeting and financial assistance, and help aging in place. As such, we provide information and referrals to a wide range/array of experts and specialists in particular specialities. Mental health is no exception.

The Community Navigator office participates in and supports the important work of the Hope and Resilience coalition partners in promoting mental health and healthy, active and mindful living; and to raise awareness, increase knowledge about and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, it's impact on individuals, families, communities and local workforce opportunities.

How does the navigator address the need?

The Community Navigator office has helped - and continues to assist - approximately 450 members of the community from all walks of life, who have a variety of needs and various degrees of need. We approach each case holistically and independently, without judgement or assumption. To consult with a community navigator about any topic, call the BRCRC community navigator office at 633-6272 or email info@boothbay