The UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health and the UNC School of Nursing will collaborate with the Foundation of Hope to expand the Center’s mobile clinic, UNC Wellness on Wheels (W.O.W) program, and provide services two days a week to individuals with serious mental health challenges who live in Wake County. The Foundation has committed $65,500 for the one-year pilot program.
“Wellness on Wheels is an innovative dynamic approach to providing comprehensive integrated care (medical and mental health care) for individuals with serious mental health and addictive disorders,” said Thava Mahadevan, MS, director of operations at the Center.
Mobile health clinics reduce geographical, psychological and financial barriers to health care for people who lack transportation and access to comprehensive psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation and basic medical care. Collaborators hope the clinic will become a model for other potential mobile health clinics across North Carolina and beyond.
Operating out of the Center’s mobile clinic (a 35-foot state of the art vehicle), the Wake County program will operate at locations in Raleigh, Zebulon, Wake Forest and Fuquay-Varina, where the Center’s Wake STEP currently serves individuals with serious mental illness. The mobile clinic’s integrated health team will provide mental health care management, recovery/rehabilitation service as well as basic preventive primary care and wellness education during visits. After an initial start-up with STEP patients, the clinic will expand services to additional patients in Wake County. Mahadevan and his colleagues expect to serve 500 patients during the first year of operation.
The Center also received the Foundation of Hope’s 2018-19 Heroes for Hope Award for its UNC Wellness on Wheels program.