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Navi Mental Health Wayfinder

Navi: Your mental health wayfinder

U of T students now have a more streamlined way to discover mental health resources and supports. Navi, short for navigator, is a chat-based service that acts as a virtual assistant for students wanting to learn more about the mental health supports available to them at the University of Toronto.

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With a name that also denotes acts of kindness in certain cultures, Navi helps to alleviate the stress a student might feel about finding what’s available more easily.

“This tool is one of many outcomes from the Presidential and Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health,” says Sandy Welsh, Vice Provost, Students. “U of T students told us that they wanted a simpler way to access mental health information and services, and Navi is an important component of that. We want the members of our University community to know that support is always close at hand. With this tool, finding the appropriate resource is fast, user-friendly and completely anonymous.”

Navi uses IBM Watson Assistant, a virtual assistant that uses natural language processing to understand questions it receives and to provide accurate and relevant responses, making it available any time, anywhere. All a user has to do is click on the chat button and tell Navi what they need help with. From stress and anxiety to feelings of discrimination or loneliness and everything in between, Navi is able to help by quickly searching for and providing the user with contact information and direct links to U of T resources. This way, the user doesn’t have to know the name of the service in order to find what they’re looking for.

Confidential and highly responsive, Navi has been tested by students and staff, and is continually evolving to better identify the needs of each user. The University of Toronto is also  proud to be the first post-secondary institution to use the IBM Watson Assistant tool to offer this depth of mental health support to its community.

“We’re very pleased to team with IBM and make use of their IBM Watson Assistant technology to help deliver this important tool to our students,” says Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer at the University of Toronto. “Last year, we saw a demo of the work they were doing on mental health in the military and immediately saw the connection to the request from our community for better wayfinding. We’re excited to be rolling out a virtual agent that supports all the great resources at U of T.”

IBM has developed technology that can be installed on any of the University’s websites – making it widely available and adaptable. And at the end of September, every U of T student will have access to this ground-breaking service.

To use the tool visit uoft.me/navi

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Navi is an anonymous tool that provides you with information to help you navigate mental health resources and make decisions about seeking appropriate supports. This tool is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice, counselling nor does it make any diagnosis or identify personalized treatments. Please do not provide any personally identifying or health information about yourself or anybody else when using this tool. If you have concerns about your health, please speak with your healthcare provider. If this is an emergency, please contact U of T My SSP at 1-844-451-9700 (or 001-416-380-6578 if you are outside North America), Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454, or 911.