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The Fresno Center’s New Mobile Mental Health Unit Hopes To Reach More People In Need



The Fresno Center unveiled a new mobile health unit Monday, the first of its kind in Fresno County designed to provide remote mental health services. 

Pao Yang, president and CEO of the Fresno Center, said it’s been a huge challenge to reach the people who are most in need of mental health services, especially during the pandemic. 

That’s why the center teamed up with Anthem Blue Cross to provide a mobile clinic. Anthem donated money for the van. The Fresno Center will use it to reach underserved and rural communities. 

“This is a $100,000 unit, folks. It’s a brand new Mercedes Sprinter van,” Yang said, as he gestured to the van parked behind him. 

While the outside of the van is wrapped with The Fresno Center’s logo, the inside looks like a mobile office.

Clinical Services Director Dr. Cheng Vang said the van will provide long overdue services to people who lack transportation. 

“We have about one thousand or so number of clients that have been referred to us. But when we reach out to them, our rates of reaching out to them and making contact with them is roughly around, a little bit less than 50 percent,” Vang said. 

Interior of mobile mental health unit, donated by Anthem Blue Cross.

Vang gave a quick tour inside the van. He pointed to a leather couch and chair inside.

“The idea is to have the provider sit here and the client can sit here, socially distancing themselves,” he said. 

He helped design the space for privacy and comfort. Calming artwork hangs from the walls and the van is fitted with computer and TV monitors, and other high tech features that are solar-powered. 

“We have bluetooth speakers that we can play soothing music,” he said. 

Vang said the van is ready to hit the road. His team will begin scheduling remote appointments and going directly to patients. He said they have the potential to make contact with thousands of people a month.