Since March 2022, the Recovery Care Mobile Clinic has made its way around Cornwall, Akwesasne, and SDG providing addictions and mental health services to marginalized community members. On September 15th, the clinic made its first stop at the Cornwall Public Library, where they will park on Thursdays from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.
“This is our first day, and we’re hoping it will be a long stay,” said Pierre Dufour, the Library’s Programming and Marketing Manager, “We’ve noticed in the past few months there’s been an increase in mental health and addiction situations that we have had to deal with, so the timing is perfect to have this service come here.”
The Recovery Care Mobile Clinic is a pilot program in Cornwall and Ottawa. Our local unit operates in partnership with the Cornwall Community Hospital and the Akwesasne Wellness Center. Current stops are Thursday mornings at Riverview Manor and the Cornwall Public Library in the afternoon. On Friday mornings the clinic parks at Centre105, followed by the Agape Centre in the afternoon.
“It’s been a great partnership so far, it’s only the first day, but there’s already a few people dropping in which is great,” said Melanie Astle, who became an RN after 20 years as a lab tech, “We wanted to have this partnership to address some of the issues that we are seeing in the community with people that need the care but maybe don’t have a way to access it very well. There’s lots of people in and out of here all the time, so hopefully it works well for us going forward and were able to help a lot of people.”
In her role as nurse, Melanie can do just about anything she does at the clinic in the van. If someone needs an intake done, she can do it all from the mobile unit, and the client sees a doctor on the screen, virtually. They also offer some other medical services, like wound care, blood work, infectious disease testing and treatment, nicotine replacements, and Narcan training/handing out of Narcan kits. All these services are covered by OHIP.
Another great thing about this partnership is that the library will provide the Recovery Care team with private space to use for one-on-one counselling.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to have this wonderful space, especially since winter’s coming,” said Jimmie Massey, the Mobile Health Clinic’s Addictions Counsellor. Jimmie has worked in the field for approximately ten years and recently moved to Cornwall from Detroit.
“It creates a nice comfortable environment as opposed to being out here because then people are distracted,” he explained, “Once they’re in a calm setting with no distractions, I think that helps people get relaxed and express what their challenges are. I try to help restore life skills and give coping tools, stuff that you can lose focus of when you’re using for a long period.”
For more information about the Recovery Care Clinic and Mobile Clinic, please visit https://recovery.care/.