Part of All recipients

Northern Lights recipient – Mental Health Co-Pilots

On March 10, they were recognized for helping those in need navigate mental health supports and agencies.

Logo of Northern Lights recipient Mental Health Co-Pilots

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

For the volunteers of Edmonton’s Mental Health Co-Pilots, finding the right support should never be a barrier to better mental health outcomes. From identifying available supports and the agencies that deliver them, to helping a client to make that first contact, Mental Health Co-Pilots are there to assist an individual navigating the road to a healthier life.

Key to the process is pairing a volunteer Co-Pilot with the person seeking help. Getting to know the unique needs of the individual by compiling a client history, Co-Pilots can then create a tailored list of referral options and discuss those options with the client. In this way, the client is empowered to choose the path that is best for them.

As services are delivered remotely and therefore easily accessed, Mental Health Co-Pilots saw a significant increase in support requests with the COVID-19 pandemic driving up demand for service in communities throughout Alberta. As a result, the team of Co-Pilots has increased, and the organization’s free, online data base of service providers has been expanded to include mental health professionals from across the province. Volunteers also hosted Facebook Live events to share coping strategies, ways for people to stay connected and information on the process of engaging in therapy.

Along with direct support for the individual, Mental Health Co-Pilots advocate for improved mental health services, develop effective, meaningful, publicly accessible resources and collaborate with partners on shared initiatives to benefit clients and the community. Just as they have been there to help during the pandemic, Mental Health Co-Pilots will continue to help those in need find their way through the distress to brighter skies and a better future.

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