Youth Mental Health Navigator Program
The Youth Mental Health Navigator program came out of conversations with community organizations United Way convened regarding youth mental health in greater Mankato and how to reduce barriers to access to behavioral health services. Discussions were focused on the lack of mental health providers, high amount of need, existing resources and how more collaboration might take place. Additionally, it was recognized that the school system is doing a lot of triaging to connect students with resources and that structure could use support. The group collaboratively identified the need for a Youth Mental Health Navigator which was implemented as a pilot in Mankato Area Public schools in April 2022. After the success of the Youth Mental Health Navigator pilot, United Way expanded the program to include a second navigator at Mankato Area Public Schools and two navigators through South Central Service Cooperative to serve surrounding school districts within the Greater Mankato Area United Way service area of Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet, and Waseca counties.