Mobile approach helps high-risk population connect to physical and mental health supports

LISTOWEL – Residents who are having difficulty connecting to physical and mental health supports have a monthly resource to help them find the supports they need. Just walk to the ambulance parked in the Pharmasave parking lot on the last Monday afternoon of each month to make the connection.

Carrie Hurst, Patient Care Manager at Listowel Memorial Hospital, provided an update on the roles of the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance (LWHA) in the program. She said it was a partnership with the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) Mental Health Crisis Response Team.

“The program is… led by a nurse practitioner in partnership with EMS and other support services,” she said. “This is a mobile team that travels around Perth County to serve vulnerable populations and those without access to a family doctor.”

Hurst said the goal of the program includes obtaining physical and mental health care support for the homeless population and other underfunded community members, such as those without a doctor. of family.

She also mentioned that people whose access to much-needed resources has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive help connecting to the help they need.

“The team can take care of visits similar to any primary care, so any visit to the family doctor, for physical or mental health,” said Hurst. “Everything you would see your family doctor for is his goal. You can come to their mobile ambulance and make an appointment.

Listowel Memorial Hospital collaborated to provide referrals for these patients to link with an outpatient social worker for things such as:

– navigation in the system for social supports or supports in mental health and addiction;

– income support;

– helps fill out forms and have forms completed in the workplace;

– job security; and

– temporary advisory services until permanent advice is organized.

The program will be hosted in an ambulance parked in the Pharmasave parking lot at 130 Argyle Ave. N. the last Monday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

She pointed out that it’s a very convenient location as it’s right behind It Takes a Village, so people who use the resources there will be familiar with the area.

“Our outpatient social worker, her main focus is the patients without a family doctor in town and all that navigating the system…” said Hurst.

The nurse practitioner who runs the program has referral forms for the outpatient social worker.

“Then our outpatient social worker will get in touch with them by phone as long as they have a phone number that we can contact them,” she said.

“Usually we try to get a phone number where they can be reached or we can leave a message. ”

When it comes to the homeless population living without shelter, Hurst acknowledged that sometimes they didn’t have cell phones.

“Alternatively, they could call the hospital if they can get to somewhere they have access to a phone… and we could make that connection,” Hurst said. “It’s difficult to schedule an appointment that way, but we haven’t gotten to the point yet where (the outpatient social worker makes) walk-in appointments, but it’s definitely something that our outpatient social worker envisioned… there might be more to come once we have developed the program a bit more, but for now, hopefully they could provide the phone number where we could contact them.

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