North Bend-based nonprofit pediatric therapy provider, Encompass, sought to find a way to double their capacity to provide therapy while offering care to every corner of the Eastside and beyond. The solution: a therapy center on wheels.
Encompass Mobile Therapy Unit — the first of its kind in Washington — is slated to hit the streets in early May 2017, eliminating the distance-based hardship many families encounter journeying to North Bend from outlying areas.
The new 24-foot Sprinter van will serve families with children ages 2 through 8 who “present challenging and disruptive behaviors due to a variety of issues.” A mental health coach will be on hand via an adjoining room using two-way mirrors, closed circuit cameras, and audio equipment to provide parent-child interaction therapy. During PCIT parents learn play therapy and behavior management skills which can then be adopted during the course of a typical day.
“I came to Encompass after finally confessing our family’s problem dealing with my 6-year-old son’s angry behavior to our pediatrician,” said a parent who went through PCIT at Encompass’ center. “I had read every book I could find; nothing seemed to fit. Going to Encompass was a relief. Other people had the same issues, and there was a way to deal with this with compassion and emphasis on the parent/child relationship.”
The mobile therapy unit also boasts the ability to offer therapy to Spanish speaking families in an effort to provide care to more families in need.
“We are proud to have a bilingual certified PCIT coach, Rocio Collado, on our staff,” Encompass Mental Health Supervisor Kathleen Kaiser said in a statement. “Being able to send Rocio out into the community means that more Spanish-speaking families will have access to this therapy.”
Funding for the mobile therapy unit was provided by a $100,000 grant from the Washington Women’s Foundation, as well as an additional $7,500 in funding from the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority. In order to keep the unit running, the Northwest Children’s Fund has pledged $90,000 to be dispersed over the next three years.
The unit will run five days a week serving many Eastside communities like Issaquah, Sammamish, Carnation, and Duvall. However, Encompass has more than 25 families on its wait list, of those waiting, 60 percent live outside Encompass’ primary service area.
For more information, visit Encompass online.