Testing of a new tool to help people in Nipissing District with mental health and addictions issues continue, but once it launches in the New Year, the tool is expected to give clients in this area a better way to connect to the services they need.
The navigation guide was developed by a group of people who make up the Nipissing Service Collaboration Implementation Team.
Its spokesman Dan Billingsley says the navigation guide is a three-year project entering the final six months which is the testing phase.
Billingsley says the guide helps people with addictions or mental health problems navigate their way through the system in a timely manner so they can get the help they need.
However, he adds it also “provides up-to-date knowledge of the different services in the community.”
“So if someone is looking for help, we’re all on the same page, using the same tool and website to help that individual navigate to the correct services,” Billingsley said.
The implementation team picked seven service providers to help it carry out the testing during this last phase of the project.
Billingsley says during the test period, the navigation tool has helped to identify some gaps in the service system and by eliminating the gaps, the client can navigate to the correct services even easier.
Billingsley says the tool will be a big help to people in need who, as a first step, have no idea where to turn for help.
“They may have fallen through the cracks and don’t know what services are out there,” he said.
Billingsley says another positive development from the tool is that service providers also become aware of services they weren’t aware of since everything gets collected together.
Billingsley says the seven agencies testing the tool have been using it for about four months and providing feedback to the implementation team on how well it works.
He says the feedback tells the group whether there are bugs that still need to be worked out or if more tweaking is needed before the tool is launched district-wide sometime next year.