MANSFIELD -- Healing Hearts Counseling Center has unveiled a new mobile care unit to promote public health and bring health services to underserved communities.
Healing Hearts is a counseling center located on Park Avenue in Mansfield that offers counseling and treatment for mental health, trauma and addiction. The center recently began developing a mobile care unit and brought the unit out to community events such as the Juneteenth celebration in Downtown Mansfield.
According to DeWayne Lee, the Director of Operations for Healing Hearts, the organization invested in the mobile unit to serve those who can’t easily travel to their physical location.
“One of the things we decided to do as a management team was to take services out to current clients or potentially future clients. We need to meet people where they are,” Lee said.
Melissa Tester, the Clinical Director at Healing Hearts, explained that COVID-19 and the unexpected success of telehealth programs also encouraged them to develop the mobile unit.
“COVID-19 has posed some real barriers. We started realizing how many more people were able to access services through telehealth that are typically unsuccessful at our physical location," Tester said. "That inspired us to think about how we could bring other services to them like telehealth services.”
Lee explained that the mobile unit will be able to offer a wide variety of treatments including blood glucose readings, blood pressure checks and general health check ups. Lee also indicated that they would try to include a certified mental health professional with the unit in order to offer mental health services.
The mobile unit comes equipped with air conditioning, shower, toilet, refrigerator, sink, microwave, stove and a TV screen. There is a sizeable table and large seating area situated at the back of the mobile unit.
Lee is fully committed to adapting the counseling center in response to COVID-19. Along with the mobile unit the center has adopted a mask requirement and numerous rooms have been modified to follow social distancing guidelines.
“We just know that we are in a new normal now," Lee said. "The new normal means that we need to get out, get out of the office, go and see clients because COVID-19 won’t be going away anytime soon.”