We Fight Spotlight: Care-O-Van

For this week’s Spotlight, We Fight chatted with Megan Murtaugh-Graber, owner and founder of mobile mental health service Care-O-Van (and a We Fight member!).

Care-O-Van is a mobile mental health office, housed in a renovated school bus and offers innovative expressive and experiential therapies including art, play, culinary, movement, music, nature-based and animal-assisted services. To meet individuals and families where they need to be met physically and emotionally, Care-O-Van partners with farms, schools and community organizations throughout our region to enhance access to attuned and integrative mental health services.

Care-O-Van Founder, Megan Murtaugh-Graber, LMSW

What are some resources you offer that are underutilized?

As I am just officially opening Care-O-Van, I have openings for new clients and families currently. I offer and implement expressive and experiential therapy methods and resources that are nature-based, unique from a typical talk therapy approach within an office environment. The therapeutic services I provide partner with the outdoors, natural landscapes and animals, promoting profound and integrative healing experiences. I believe that the therapeutic methods that guide my work are in themselves, underutilized and can contribute to incredible individual and community learning, healing, and growth.

What would you love to overhear someone say about your work?

I would love to overhear someone say, “I feel so incredibly heard and seen.” Or, from a kiddo, “I can’t wait to see Ms. Meg again!”

What are you most proud of about Care-O-Van?

I am most proud of Care-O-Van’s flexibility to meet individuals and families in our communities at multiple locations throughout our region to enhance access, as well as the flexibility and access Care-O-Van offers as a mental health practitioner to utilize such an assortment of expressive and nature-based therapies.

What are some misconceptions about Care-O-Van?

I guess, misconceptions may orient around disbelief in that mental health services can look and be facilitated in such a fashion as what Care-O-Van provides.

If you had a blank check, what would you fund?

If I had a blank check, I would fund a mental health fund to facilitate being able to offer individuals and families access to Care-O-Van’s services for free or at greatly reduced costs, who experience service barriers limiting their access to attuned mental health care.

How can people help?

My biggest hurdle right now is funding and fundraising… I would like to create a mental health fund to help kiddos, individuals and families be able to access services. I established Care-O-Van as a PLLC, which disqualifies me for a ton of funding/grant resources since Care-O-Van is not a nonprofit.

I have been seeking fiscal sponsors, or school/organizational partners that can submit for funding opportunities to contract with Care-O-Van, so service fees are covered for clients. I am private pay and do not accept insurance for multiple reasons.

Any ideas, insights and support regarding creating a mental health fund, or strategies in regards to seeking sponsors interested in becoming a sponsor for a client to access services or to sponsor one of Care-O-Van’s animal partners… would be super helpful!

In addition, I know in the near future I will need to recruit volunteers that are interested in becoming a part of the AVEC Farm Team, to help with llama-assisted service interactions/llama care/farm maintenance, as well as volunteers interested in helping support the facilitation of nature-based group workshops/programming.

Care-O-Van has been all grass-roots manifested and my professional experience lies in the world of mental health and the arts. I do not have any experience starting a business, or running a business, and will benefit from and be incredibly grateful for guidance and support in making Care-O-Van a success — as well as in expanding it into a group practice, and moving towards offering and creating more large scale events/training services! 

Please join in celebrating and building awareness for Care-O-Van. There are lots of ways — big and small — We Fight members can help, including the following:

We Fight members can nominate organizations/initiatives to spotlight using this form.

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