Mental Health and Addiction Navigator

Submitted on Monday, 07/26/2021 - 3:19 pm

What is the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator?

Hull’s Mental Health and Addiction Navigator is a FREE resource open to the community that helps parents and caregivers of children and youth who are struggling with mental health and addictions concerns more effectively navigate the resources and supports available to them in their community.

Why did Hull Services create the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator service?

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect the daily lives of children and youth, there are increasing numbers of parents and caregivers who are actively seeking out mental health and addiction supports, often doing so for the first time.

The task of finding the right supports at the right time in a complex system can be daunting and frustrating. Our Mental Health and Addiction Navigator will help parents and caregivers identify the best resources and supports to meet the needs of their young person and family.


How our Mental Health and Addiction Navigator Works

Hull’s Mental Health and Addiction Navigator will assess the needs of the young people requiring support, offer their clinical assessment, and recommend the best type of resources and supports that are best suited to meet their needs.

The resources and supports identified by the Navigator will be specific in nature including the name and location of the Agency, program, or individual as well as, contact information. The parents and caregivers will be encouraged to reach out to the resources and supports immediately. The Mental Health and Addiction Navigator will follow up with the family in a timely manner as an additional support.

In the event that there are access barriers including such things as excessive waiting lists, transportation challenges or unanticipated financial costs, the Navigator will help identify other resources and support options to better meet the families’ needs.


Meet our Mental Health and Addiction Navigator


April MacDougall

April MacDougall, MA, is a registered psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists. She has over 15 years of experience in a number of roles across various clinical and support settings focused on enhancing the well-being of children, youth and their families. April has extensive experience navigating systems and support services through her involvement with these settings specializing in addiction, youth justice, homelessness, mental health, trauma, sexual exploitation, and family reunification. April has a passion for working with youth and families and provides a caring and compassionate space through a solution-focused and relationship-based approach.


How do I Access the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator

Our Mental Health Navigator is a free, self-referral resource and can be accessed by phone or email:  |   587-434-9178


Assessment Form

To help speed up the intake process, you can complete the below assessment form:

Please note, the assessment form does not need to be completed before contacting Hull’s Mental Health and Addiction Navigator. You can call or email the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator directly to begin the intake process. 


  • What is a Mental Health and Addiction Navigator for Children and Youth?

    A Mental Health and Addiction Navigator is a professional support that helps parents and caregivers of children and youth struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic more effectively identify and access available resources within our community.  At Hull Services, we have nearly 60 years of experience assessing and supporting the mental health and addiction needs of children, youth and their families and bring this knowledge and experience to the Navigator role.

  • Do I need a referral from a medical doctor or other health professional to access supports from the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator?

    No. Access to our Navigator is a self-referral process based upon your expressed concerns for the needs of your child.  At Hull, we believe that parents and caregivers are experts in knowing when their child or teen is struggling, and welcome any referrals upon their behalf.

  • Does it cost any money to receive support from the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator?

    No. There is no cost for receiving supports from the Navigator.  The only costs that could occur is in when a recommended service or support put forward by the Navigator has a fee-for-service component.  The capacity to pay for any future services and supports will be discussed during the initial appointment and will help guide the decision-making and referral process.

  • Are the appointments in-person or are we able to discuss via telephone or some other on-line meeting platform such as Zoom?

    Given the ever-changing rates of COVID-19 cases in Calgary, it is preferred, from a safety perspective, that appointments occur either over the phone or through the use of the online meeting platform Zoom which the Navigator has direct access to.

  • Do I need to provide any background information about my child or family before the appointment?

    Yes.  There are a couple of electronic fillable forms that will be sent to you before your scheduled appointment that you will be asked to complete and return.  If you do not have direct access to a computer, this information can still be gathered at the start of your appointment to better assist in the assessment and decision-making process.

  • Does my child or teen have to participate in the appointment? What if they refuse?

    Participation of your child or teen in the appointment is 100% voluntary.  Ideally, the opportunity to speak with young people, particularly teens, is invaluable, but if they are not willing to participate, the Navigator can still gather relevant information to make an informed impression about the current needs and next steps for your son or daughter.

  • What can I expect during a scheduled appointment?

    Our Navigator will contact you either by phone or through on-line Zoom conferencing at the agreed upon appointment time.  The appointment itself should take approximately one hour to complete.  During the course of the conversation, the Navigator will both listen and ask a number of questions to develop a better understanding of what is going on for you and your child.  Upon the completion of the appointment, the Navigator will offer initial impressions of the presenting concerns discussed as well as some next steps in terms of referral or support options.  The Navigator will also follow-up a few days after the initial appointment to see whether the supports identified were accessed and a good fit for your family.

  • What if the supports or resources identified by the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator have a long waiting list or do not seem to be a fit with what our family was looking for?

    Our Navigator will respond promptly to any concerns that you have regarding long waiting lists or proposed services not being a good fit. The Navigator will follow-up a few days after the initial appointment to see how things are going, but also encourages all parents, caregivers and families to reach out prior if there are any concerns.

  • Is receiving support with the Mental Health Navigator confidential?

    Yes.  All conversations with a Navigator are confidential.  The Navigator will discuss confidentiality at the start of the initial appointment.

  • Can we access any programs at Hull Services following discussions with the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator?

    Like the self-referral process for the Navigator, there are some programs at Hull Services that may be directly accessed by you and your family.  However, others require direct involvement with Children’s Services, for example, where self-referral is not possible.  Our Navigator will discuss all resource and support options with you, and the eligibility requirements in order to access them.

CBC’s Kids in Crisis Five Part Series 

Hull’s Mental Health and Addiction Navigator service was discussed on CBC as part 2 of a five-part series looking at the state of youth mental health in Calgary.

Pilot program aims to help Calgary families navigate youth mental health system” – Lucie Edwardson, CBC News

CBC Calgary News at 6   (21:13)

CBC Eyeopener – Jan 4, 2022 (9:22)

*Bridge funding is in place to continue providing the Mental Health and Addiction Navigator service