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A quick summary

The EA Mental Health Navigator Service has recently received funding to expand over the course of the next six months, and so we are currently recruiting volunteers as part of this expansion. We're specifically looking for volunteers with either skills in web design, marketing, or who are able to help out with either the consultations side of the Navigator Service or the construction of a databank of mental health resources available around the world. The deadline for applying for the web design and marketing roles is December 31st. While there is no deadline for applications for the consultations and databank-building roles, the aim is to also fill these roles by the end of January.

A brief history of the EA Mental Health Navigator Service

The first survey to promote EA mental health was launched in 2019 as the 2018 EA Mental Health Survey. The results and analysis of the 2018 EA Mental Health Survey found that, of the 303 respondents to the survey, 30% believed they could personally benefit from an EA Mental Health Navigator Service. The EA Mental Health Care Navigator Pilot was therefore launched in October of 2019 to help EA community members navigate the local, national, and international mental health scenes in terms of both learning about available resources and making plans to access those resources (both online and in-person). 

There were two components to the Navigator Pilot: (1) lists of mental health resources based on recommendations from members of the EA community and made publicly available on the Navigator website and (2) a volunteer navigator, who would meet with community members and then research resources that could potentially best support those community members based on factors such as mental health needs, location, and insurance plans. Community members could make use of one or both components of the Navigator Pilot, and those who made use of the services provided by the volunteer navigator had the option to complete a feedback survey at the end of their Navigator Service experience. An update on the EA Mental Health Navigator based on feedback provided between October 2019 and October 2021 was posted on the EA Forum in November of this year (2021).​

In October 2021, the EA Mental Health Navigator Service received a grant from the EA Infrastructure Fund to hire a part-time project manager to build a global EA Mental Health Navigator volunteer network over the course of six months, thereby expanding the program from one volunteer at the start of September 2021 to several more located around the world by the end of April 2022. This Forum post sets out to further detail the goals that have been set for the EA Mental Health Navigator Service for the next six months (which are also provided on the Navigator Service website), and how progress will be measured.

Primary goals

The overarching goal over the next six months is to get the EA Mental Health Navigator Service on its feet in such a way that it is sustainable thanks to a network of volunteers all working together.

The more specific primary goals of the EA Mental Health Navigator Service over the next six months are to:

  1. Recruit more volunteers who are located around the world or who have connections with people in various locations, so that the resources recommended on the Navigator Service website and through consultations are not only for those who live in the US, UK, or Europe, but in many other countries where EA community members reside or where there are budding EA communities.
  2. Increase the number of volunteers such that there are more people helping with both consultations and updating and expanding the resource lists available on the Navigator Service website, increasing the speed at which EA community members who contact the Navigator Service are made aware of the mental health support resources available to them and able to take action to access those resources.
  3. Update and expand the resource lists available on the Navigator Service website to ensure that resources relevant for EA community members associated with a variety of identities and backgrounds are provided.
  4. Update the website to make it easier for EA community members to quickly locate resources that could be helpful for their specific needs and locations.
  5. Market the EA Mental Health Navigator Service such that more EA community members around the world are aware of and can make use of the service.

Progress towards these goals will be measured in terms of data on Navigator Service popularity, volunteer network demographics, and resource databank size at the end of April 2022, as compared with both baseline information on these variables collected at the start of the funding period for this project (so late October 2021) and feedback collected during the pilot years of the project. A progress report will be made publicly available on both the EA Forum and the Navigator Service website at the end of April 2022.

Goal for the remainder of 2021 – Recruit more volunteers!

The primary aim for the remainder of 2021 is to build the EA Mental Health Navigator volunteer network, and we are specifically looking for people who are skilled in or have experience with:

  1. Web design (approximately 20 hours of volunteering over 3 months) and could help with revamping the ‘Resources’ and ‘Recommended providers’ webpages such that community members can quickly filter for their locations and needs;
  2. Marketing (approximately 10 hours of volunteering over 2 months), to help with strategies to both greatly expand the network of volunteers and greatly increase awareness of the Navigator Service within the EA community;
  3. Mental health or peer support, and who are keen to help-out with the consultations side of the Navigator Service (number of hours depends on number of consultations taken on; may vary between 4 and 10 hours per month);
  4. Healthcare systems and mental health resources around the world (4-8 hours per month, or as many as preferred). We're looking for volunteers who are knowledgeable of the healthcare systems and mental health resources in various locations and able to help with the continued construction of an EA mental health resources databank. We’re specifically looking for volunteers located outside of the US and UK for several of these roles.

Volunteers will receive a small thank-you stipend for their time and hard work. The goal is to maximize expansion of the Navigator Service in terms of network size and efficiency over the next six months, so if you’re interested in helping, please fill out this form and we’ll get back to you within 72 hours. If you have any questions, feel free to email me (Emily, the EA Mental Health Navigator project manager) at ea.mh.navigator@gmail.com

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