The burden of mental, behavioral, and substance use disorders on disenfranchised people has exceeded the capacity of today’s healthcare systems, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As many as 75 percent of people with serious mental illness in low income regions, such as rural and urban settings, cannot easily access basic treatment services. However, mobile clinics have successfully proven their usefulness in providing treatment for depression and other behavioral health issues, substance abuse, traumatic stress disorder, and even alcohol-use disorders. According to the National Library of Medicine, Mobile medical clinics represent an untapped resource for our healthcare system.
In 2017, drug overdose deaths in the United States were more than 70,000, which is almost 200 per day. This was nearly a 10 percent increase from 2016.
Mobile health care units are medical offices on wheels. In many cases they are used to serve the underprivileged, homeless and those with behavioral health disorders. Those that are disenfranchised in these ways can often receive basic health care on a mobile medical unit at no charge, or are helped to connect with available health insurance. These mobile medical units travel to multiple locations to serve rural and urban populations, typically helping those who are homeless and do not have insurance.