Columbia River Mental Health Services is launching a new program to help those who are unhoused and struggling with physical and mental health concerns
Right now, on the street, there is someone who is unhoused and struggling with urgent physical and mental health concerns. Their anxiety is so severe they are afraid to visit the emergency room. Their health is deteriorating.
Columbia River Mental Health Services is launching a new program to help. Tuesday, Nov. 16, the Columbia River Mobile Health team launches. A street medicine team, designed to meet people where they are, strives to eliminate barriers to accessing mental health, drug and alcohol screenings, and basic medical care.
Operating throughout Clark County, this team will travel in the mobile van to connect with unhoused individuals to build trust, provide care, and connect to resources. Initially, the team will be active Tuesday-Friday, with plans to expand to seven days a week within a year.
“Once that initial access to mobile health care occurs, we hope it will give people the faith they need to believe in tangible results,” says Mike Delay, director at Columbia River Mental Health Services, who helped design and launch the program. “They will know that, if they buy in, things can get better and they will be on the road to rebuilding their lives.”
The Columbia River Mobile Health team consists of the following: a peer with lived experience to help build rapport with people the team encounters; a mental health therapist; and substance use disorder professional; a nurse; and a part-time provider who offers physical health care.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to expand our ability to meet people where they are and help them on their path to wellness,” says Victor Jackson, CEO of Columbia River Mental Health Services.
The team will coordinate with local community partners to identify areas of need throughout Clark County, and to create a rotating schedule so unhoused individuals can know when to expect the visits from the mobile unit team.
To stay updated on Columbia River Mobile Health and other happenings at Columbia River Mental Health Services, visit their website at CRMHS.org.
About Columbia River Mental Health Services
Founded in 1942, Columbia River Mental Health Services is Clark County’s oldest provider of behavioral health services. With a mission to provide behavioral health and recovery services that transform the lives of children, adults, and families in the communities of SW Washington, Columbia River serves over 5,000 people each year.