It's known affectionately as “The Moose." Since May of 2020, the Mobile Outreach Unit for Health and Support Services (which gives us the MOUHSS acronym) has made a huge health impact in the Campbell River community.
With seed funding for the project coming from the First Nations Health Authority, community donations have been playing a big role in what The Moose can provide to its clients.
The brightly coloured RV drives in the downtown area of Campbell River three days a week at specific locations. The Moose is accessible for the vulnerable as well as bridging gaps in services for people who are not accessing them. Sometimes it can act as a first step in the mental health journey for clients.
Leanne McIntee is the coordinator for the Kwakiutl District Council (KDC) Health Office's mobile outreach program and operates The Moose vehicle. She's noticed that there are so many people who don't know how to navigate the various programs available in the city, having to deal with intake paperwork or even feelings of shame or stigma associated with using these services which can keep people from accessing the help they need.
“We need to meet people where they are at and provide a safe place for them to just talk" says Leanne McIntee.
She said that often clients needing mental health services face barriers when it comes to our health system leaving them feeling helpless and lost. For example, not knowing what services they need or what services are available to them. They may simply not want to be seen walking into an agency or facing the fear of what will happen if they tell their story.
“It's about being open and available", Leanne says. “As humans it's not about one person who makes a difference, it's about all of us".
The Moose offers varied services, such as counselling, wound care, diabetes testing, harm reduction supplies, as well as primary health care, prescriptions and referrals to other needed community programs. People accessing The Moose can range from youth to seniors, but the main objective is to offer direct services to the vulnerable population.
If you would like to support The Moose (MOUHSS) initiative, please reach out to KDC Health toll-free at 1-866-286-9766. You can find the schedule here by clicking on the most recent Quinsam and Cape Mudge newsletter: