Mobile Hope Clinic: Early Investment in Youth Mental Well-Being
Grant Status: Active
Training Category: Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP)
Center for Trauma Counseling, Inc.
6801 Lake Worth Road, Suite 307
Greenacres, FL 33467
The mental health of children and adolescents is declining across the U.S. -- a pattern echoed in Palm Beach County, Florida. Far too many youth do not have accessible, affordable, quality mental health care to prevent crises and ensure they get the help they need. The lack of access to care is particularly problematic among marginalized, at-risk youth who have barriers such as low family income, lack of insurance coverage, limited transportation access, or linguistic or cultural differences.
Goals and Objectives:
The Center for Trauma Counseling and community partners propose the Mobile Hope Clinic to address mental health care access and outcomes in Palm Beach County and beyond. The goals of the MHC are to: 1) Develop, deliver, evaluate and disseminate a collaborative, community-based model for mobile mental health education and preventive early intervention for underserved, at-risk youth), 2) Enhance youth, family/caregiver, provider, and community awareness and acceptance of early, preventive intervention strategies and resources for youth at risk for mental health concerns, and 3) Enhance the mental well-being of more at-risk, underserved youth. Objectives will measure achievements at both the individual and aggregate.
The methodology for the Mobile Hope Clinic (MHC) demonstrates an innovative community-based model for accessible preventive mental health intervention for underserved, at-risk children, adolescents, and their families. MHC brings two bilingual therapists, a Coordinator, community education and youth therapy to underserved neighborhoods through a customized, welcoming van. MHC provides services based on a sliding fee scale, ensuring all families can afford their child's care. MHC will prevent mental health crises through early, preventive therapy, education and community supports. The model addresses youth mental health service priorities and data needs identified by HRSA, Florida Title V MCH, and Palm Beach County, Florida.
The MHC model relies on a diverse set of strategic partnerships among healthcare providers, youth-serving organizations, community providers, and families and strives to reduce mental health disparities. Partners coordinate to provide accessible mental health services, community education, and resources related to the Social Determinants of Health.
Evaluation plans draw on a foundation of CTC's data-informed planning and service delivery. CTC implements ongoing program evaluation, assessing outputs, outcomes and cost-effectiveness. This approach will be applied for the assessment of the MHC model, evaluating procedures and implementation (such as partnership development and the establishment of additional service sites); individual impact (e.g., reflecting improved well-being on pre-post clinical measures); and overall program responsiveness to community needs (such as aggregate data showing improved mental health status or enhanced reach shown through expanded numbers of youth served). This multi-faceted evaluation approach will be implemented with the MHC initiative to inform ongoing enhancements of the MHC model, establish its validity as a best practice, and ensure its replicability.