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Mobile Medication Programs Help Mental Health Patients Keep Prescriptions Straight

A picture of assorted pills.
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Many patients have a hard time keeping prescriptions straight after a hospital visit. Mental health workers say this can put some patients at risk of ending up in an emergency room with a psychological crisis.

Some mental health patients in rural Nash and Vance Counties are getting help from local nurses and technicians to keep their medications straight at home.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has given more than $2 million to fund the program, administered by the North Carolina Hospital Association.

Julia Wacker manages the Mobile Medicine Program for the NCHA.

"People want the help. They're legitimately confused. They're being discharged at the hospital with a dozen or more different medications, including their psychiatric and medical meds. Generic meds change in size and shape every month," says Wacker. "I mean, anyone would be confused."

Wacker says patients off their meds often go to the emergency room when they're in crisis. She says the program is intended to prevent that.

Kim Currin directs Daymark Recovery Services' center in Vance County. So far, they've served about 35 patients since its program launched in April. She says they hope to discontinue intervention with each patient after two-to-three months.

"They're not going to be off their medications. They're not going to become psychotic. They're not going to have such severe depression that they're going to want to harm themselves," Currin says. "We want them to be stabilized on their medicines, and that's the hope of this program."

Nash-UNC Health Care started serving its Mobile Medication patients this month.

The North Carolina Hospital Association hopes to treat 100 patients in each of the two counties within the first year.

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