Alvinston one of the stops for new mobile clinic

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People in Brooke-Alvinston will soon find help for mental health closer to home.

The Canadian Mental Health Association in Lambton-Kent is about two put two mobile care units on the road and it plans to make one of its stops in Brooke-Alvinston.

Nicole Polak of CMHA Lambton-Kent says two RVs have been “fitted it with medical treatment area and a counseling area because it was the intention is to provide physical health and mental health and addiction services to where it is necessary.

“We’ve identified some key areas where transportation has been an issue for those that are requiring more services. So our goal is to provide early intervention to help prevent crisis escalation, hospital admissions, or providing culturally competent and safe manner,” she added.

Andria Appeldoorn, director of fund development for CMHA, says rural areas tend to have access issues.

“So it might be transportation, it might even be that they’re not comfortable walking into a doctor’s office, or a hospital. So you know, really trying to meet people where they’re at. We’re very focused on client and family centered care,” she told Brooke-Alvinston councillors Thursday.

“If you’re at a place where you’re ready to reach out to care and you don’t feel comfortable or respected, or even able to access the care that’s available to you, you’re less likely to reach out for care the next time,” Appeldoorn added.
In Lambton, the plan is to use the mobile clinic staffed with paramedics in Brooke-Alvinston, Watford, Thedford and Sarnia. The staff will deal with any physical or mental health need, Appeldoorn added saying people won’t need an appointment to visit the clinic.

Brooke-Alvinston council gave CMHA approval to bring the unit to the community and use the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre parking lot.

Appeldoorn says the CMHA is still working out all the kinks of the program and planning a route. It’s not clear exactly when the mobile units will be on the road.

The second RV mobile health clinic will operate in the Chatham-Kent communities of Chatham, Thamesville, Wheatley and Wallaceburg.
The clinics will also visit the communities of Kettle and Stony Point and the Delaware Nation near Thamesville.