Component: IHWS – Promotion and Prevention

Legislation: Ministry of Community and Social Services Act

Service Objectives

  • The Health Navigator Program provides a range of wholistic health and mental health navigation, advocacy, discharge planning and support services to Indigenous people to improve the equitable access to and quality of health services

Service Description

  • Health Navigators provide a range of wholistic health and mental health navigation, advocacy, discharge planning and/or support services (e.g., Indigenous language translation, intake tables with community service providers) to Indigenous peoples to support them in navigating complex health systems (e.g. provincial, federal and community-based health services)

People Served

  • First Nation, Métis and Inuit, and urban Indigenous individuals and their families and/or support system

Program / Service Features

The Program/Services contracted by the Ministry will reflect the following features

  • Indigenous cultural approaches are reflected or used as a part of the activities and services
  • Depending on community needs, the health navigator program may be based in a First Nation, hospital, health unit, Aboriginal Health Access Centre, and/or community-based service provider (e.g., local member community of a Provincial Indigenous Organization)

Specific service provided may include

Client-specific services

  • Client-specific services are 1-on-1 supports provided to an individual and/or family and may include
    • Intake & Assessment
      • Establish relationships with appropriate partners, including clinical staff and other service providers to identify patients/individuals requiring supports
      • Assess and determine the individual’s health/mental health care plan and other support needs
      • Support individuals and families at visits with clinical staff and service providers
      • Help patients to understand their own health care needs and the broader health care system (e.g., differences between provincially and federally funded health services)
      • Provide peer counselling, as appropriate
      • Creation of or participation in intake tables with community service providers (e.g., hospital, social service providers, etc.) to assess the needs of the individual and co-develop person-centric plan of care
    • Navigation services & discharge planning
      • Support patients and families to navigate mainstream health services and access culturally responsive and wholistic health (including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health) services, such as community-based services and programs, traditional healing, mental health and addictions services, etc
      • Provide discharge planning and post-discharge follow-up (including connecting patients and families with service providers) to support individuals in transitioning back to their communities/homes and connecting them with appropriate programs and services
      • Link clinical supports with community-based, culturally safe and wholistic programs and services (e.g., IHWS programs) to support individuals and families in accessing wholistic care
    • Advocacy, education & communication
      • Advocate for patients and their families seeking access to health care (e.g., consent received to communicate with service providers on their behalf)
      • Enhance communication between patients and families, clinical staff, and service providers to assist individuals and families/support systems in accessing the appropriate services that meet their needs
      • Assist individuals and families with cultural and Indigenous language translation services, e.g., interpreting health directives in traditional languages
      • Liaise on behalf of Indigenous patients/individuals with mainstream health providers to present Indigenous realities
      • Collaborate with other health navigators and service providers to assist clients in accessing the appropriate health and complementary programs and services to meet their needs
      • Provide or connect individuals and their families with educational materials and resources
      • Provide education to clinical staff and other service providers as needed to enhance culturally safe care (e.g., find opportunities for clinicians to participate in cultural competency training)

Capacity development activities

Capacity development activities may include (as appropriate)

  • Policy and protocol development: assist and support the development of specific policies or protocols to improve access and provision of culturally appropriate and safe services for Indigenous peoples
  • Resource development: support development of specific training curriculum, resources, and other educational material as needed
    Work with Ministry of Health-funded Mental Health System Coordinators to support system-level improvements (as necessary)

Group activities

  • Activities are provided in a group-based setting and oriented towards improving Indigenous health and/or mental health by:
    • Promoting positive change in values, attitudes and behaviours
    • Fostering healing and enabling individuals, families and communities to achieve and enjoy a healthy and balanced life
    • Increasing awareness of specific issues, risks or concerns in the community or group, including (but not limited to) mental health, health equity, health system access and the social determinants of health
    • Providing education and information to improve Indigenous health and mental health and reduce and prevent community or group risk factors
    • Group activities may include, as appropriate and able
    • Community outreach and education opportunities including workshops, public presentations, public awareness and education campaigns, community and cultural events/fairs, etc.
    • Healing/cultural teaching circles and/or support groups Remote/virtual programming
    • Fitness and/or recreational activities Land-based activities

Reporting requirements

The following service data will be reported on at an Interim and Final stage. Please refer to your final agreement for report back due dates and targets.

Service Data NameDefinition

# of Individuals: Received Client-Specific Services: Health Navigators

Unique, or unduplicated, count of individuals who received / accessed client-specific services during the reporting period. Each unique individual is counted only once per reporting period even if they received multiple services. If the individual carries into the next fiscal year, the individual is counted again in the new reporting period. See Service description for further details and examples of client-specific services.

# of Client-Specific Services: Health Navigators

The total number of 1-on-1 client-specific services provided to individuals during the reporting period. For example, if an individual received discharge planning supports three times in the reporting period, this would be counted as three. See Service description for further details and examples of client-specific services.

# of Group Activities: Health Navigators

The total number of group activities delivered during the reporting period. Each activity held in the reporting period should be counted as 1. If a group activity is jointly organized/funded with another IHWS program, only one program should report the group activity (to be decided by the service provider). The program that reports the group activity should also report the total number of individuals who attended that group activity under the “Number of Individuals: Accessed Group Activities: Health Navigators”. If group activities are not provided through your IHWS- funded program, put “0”. See Service description for further details and examples of group activities.

# of Individuals: Accessed Group Activities: Health Navigators

The total number of individuals who took part in group activities during the reporting period. The same individual can be counted more than once if they participate in more than one group activity in the same reporting period. The total number of unique participants for each group activity is added to calculate the total number of individuals who took part in group activities in the reporting period. For example, if an individual attends four group activities in a reporting period, count four (4). If a group activity is jointly organized/funded with another IHWS program, only one program should report the group activity (to be decided by the service provider). The program that reported the group activity (to be decided by the service provider) is responsible for reporting the total number of individuals who accessed the group activity under this data element. Do not include participants of the group activities that were not reported in “Number of Group Activities: Health Navigators”. If group activities are not provided through your IHWS-funded program, put “0”. See Service description for further details and examples of group activities.

Ministry-funded Agency Expenditures: Health Navigators

Total ministry-funded expenses for the Transfer Payment Recipient to administer and/or deliver the Health Navigators program in the reporting year (cumulative).