Mental Health

A picture of Wyatt Bond.
StoryDriven Media Group / wearestorydriven.com

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and N.C. State University's Counseling Center is trying to get people talking about it.

Clinical social workers Noah Martinson and Daniel Goldstein launched a campaign called #StoptheStigma. They and StoryDriven Media Group  released a video featuring three NCSU students talking about surviving their own suicide attempts.

A picture of a crying person.
Joe Penna / flickr.com/photos/pennajoe/2539202649

North Carolina's new Mental Health and Substance Abuse task force meets for the first time Tuesday.

A picture of assorted pills.
e-Magine Art / Flickr

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.

Image of Glen Warren and his three children
Glen Warren

Glen Warren vividly remembers the first moments of single fatherhood: he was standing in the living room of his new mobile home with his three kids, and he quickly realized that he had no idea how to make them dinner. 

In the coming years he learned how to piece together meals, filed for child support, and worked multiple jobs to put food on the table. And through all of this, he became increasingly certain about one thing: fatherhood is incredibly important. 

Image of Chapman in Shanghai with Professor Meihua Zhu, on the left, a former visiting scholar at UNC.
Mimi Chapman

The power of art is not lost on Mimi Chapman. She is a professor at the UNC School of Social Work who believes that art can have a profound impact on people’s ability to empathize. She also studies how art can help illuminate conscious and unconscious biases and affect how people treat one another.

Meet TROSA Founder Kevin McDonald

Apr 20, 2015
Kevin McDonald is the founder of TROSA.
trosainc.org

Throughout his youth, Kevin McDonald was searching for a sense of belonging.

His father was in the U.S. Air Force, which meant his family moved a lot during McDonald’s childhood. Wherever they moved, McDonald felt severe anxiety in his constantly changing social situation. 

His life in the home came with another set of challenges.

"My mother was very, very abusive. Physically and emotionally," he told host Frank Stasio on WUNC’s The State of Things.

Flickr user Ben Re

Almost one out of every 10 people in the United States has a firearm at home and has shown a propensity for impulsive angry behavior, according to an academic analysis led by a Duke University professor and published this month.
 

The analysis, which relied on an early 2000s in-person interviews with more than 5,000 people across the country, concludes that individuals showing impulsive angry behavior are more likely than people diagnosed with a mental illness to engage in gun violence.

The Housecleaner Project

In the last two decades, international migration to North Carolina has increased dramatically and more than half of the state’s foreign-born population is Latino. 

A picture of a woman with a hand on her face.
Send me adrift / Flickr

Cape Fear Valley's new Roxie Avenue Behavioral Healthcare Center is up and running.

Behavioral Health Services Director Doug Webster says the Fayetteville facility is meant to free up beds in the hospital, where people can wait days for mental health treatment.

Webster says, left untreated, such crises can escalate.

North Carolina also has behavioral health centers in Durham and Raleigh. In Fayetteville, Webster says they’re serving members of the military and civilians alike.

Photo: Death row inmates are housed at Central Prison in Raleigh. No executions have been carried out in North Carolina since 2006.
North Carolina Department of Public Safety

About 12 percent of the inmates in North Carolina's prisons are mentally ill, state prisons administrators told lawmakers at a hearing this week.

Administrators, including David Guice, the commissioner for the state Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, said the they're starting a re-structuring of how they handle the roughly 4,600 mentally ill inmates. They're beginning to concentrate transfer some inmates and concentrate some services in some locations - instead of having them spread among the roughly 37,000 inmate population throughout the system's 56 facilities.

    

On March 12, 2014, Michael Anthony Kerr, an inmate at the Alexander Correctional Institution, died from dehydration en route to a hospital in Raleigh.

The treatment of Mr. Kerr in days leading up to his death have led to many questions as well as investigations by the US Attorney’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.

A picture of a screaming child.
Mindaugas Danys / Creative Commons

Holly Hill Hospital is hosting the grand opening of a new children's campus today. The hospital says it's working to meet a growing need for inpatient psychiatric beds that has left many in the community waiting in emergency rooms for behavioral health treatment.

North Carolina's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness supports the creation of the facility. But the group's president, Mike Mayer, says the state has a long way to go.

A DNA rendering
YNSE / Flickr

An international team of researchers has made landmark progress on the study of Schizophrenia.

A consortium co-founded by the University of North Carolina's Patrick Sullivan reports that it's identified 108 points of genetic variation in people with the illness.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Police and community leaders in Fayetteville are working on a local incarnation of the Silent Siren program to help veterans in an emergency.

Fayetteville police responded last week to a call from a woman whose husband, a soldier, was parked outside a Walmart threatening to kill himself. Police approached the stand off without lights, sirens and shouting.  They were able get the soldier help.

Fayetteville wants to expand that gentle approach for emergencies involving veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injury.

Police Training
Nashville.gov

In the early morning hours of November 19, Durham  youth Jesus Huerta left home. His family called 911, reported him as a troubled runaway and noted his drug problem. A Durham police officer located Huerta, frisked him, cuffed him, and put him in the back of a cruiser. Moments later, the 17 year-old was dead from a gunshot to the head. His family questions the circumstances surrounding his death.

Friends and relatives posted pictures like these of Jesus Huerta around Durham, NC
Leoneda Inge

  

Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound while in police custody last November. Did officers know he was at risk of killing himself? The teen's family says yes.

Durham authorities have said the officer on the scene, Samuel Duncan, had not been told the 17-year-old threatened to kill himself and used drugs before the officer picked him up the morning of Nov. 19.

But the attorney representing Huerta’s family questions that and points to this radio communication in which officers talk about Huerta having a history of drug abuse:

Lee Smith Explores History Through Fiction

Dec 3, 2013
Algonquin Books

  

In her latest novel, Chapel Hill author Lee Smith tells the story of Asheville's Highland Hospital, a pioneering mental institution that once housed Zelda Fitzgerald.

"Guests on Earth" (Algonquin/2013), reveals this real-life history through the prism of fiction, all while exploring the relationship between creativity and madness. Frank Stasio talks with Lee Smith about her new book.

Teens at a high school football game
Brad Barlow / Flickr

More than half of teens with psychiatric disorders go untreated, and those who do get help often get it from non-mental health specialists, according to a study co-authored by Duke University researchers this month.

 About 45 percent of teens who have a psychiatric disorder received treatment in the 12 months prior to the study, and those getting help most often receive it from school counselors, pediatricians or probation officers.  

HealthServe is closing in Greensboro this week and 20,000 people will have to find a medical provider elsewhere.
Flickr.com

State health officials are trying to cut the number of people with behavioral disorders who end up in the Emergency Room. 

The Department of Health and Human Services says it's creating an advisory panel of health experts and patient advocates.  The group's job will be to recommend improvements at the local level for mental health and substance abuse services. 

Division of Mental Health director Dave Richard says there's apparent confusion about where to send those patients now that the state has moved away from community mental health centers.

iUniverse, Lucy Daniels

  At 22 years old, Lucy Daniels was a best-selling author and a Guggenheim Award winner.  But she spent five years hospitalized for severe anorexia and the trauma of sudden success led Daniels to stop writing for much of her adult life.  After a 40 year gap, Lucy Daniels took up writing again.  Host Frank Stasio speaks with Daniels, a writer and clinical psychologist, about her newest book, “Walking with Moonshine: My Life in Stories” (iUniverse/ 2013).

Wikimedia Commons

    

Schizophrenia is a frightening disease, characterized by audio and visual hallucinations.

A researcher at Duke University thinks he may have a clue as to how the auditory hallucinations occur.

Duke neurobiologist Richard Mooney said there is a long history of research that indicates that the way we hear is influenced by what we see happening around us.

UNC Health Care has opened a new mental hospital in Wake County after building repairs caused a two-month delay. 

Duke released a new study that looks at the high depression rate in clergy members.
public domain

A new study from Duke shows that clergy have a higher rate of anxiety and depression than the national average. The study, conducted by the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School, surveyed all United Methodist Clergy in North Carolina and found that their depression rate was 8.7 percent, which is higher than the national average of 5.5 percent. Anxiety rates were 13.5 percent.

Melody Moezzi's 'Haldol and Hyacinths'
Avery Publishing

    

Melody Moezzi has always been outspoken. As an Iranian-American writer and attorney, she has devoted herself to discussing controversial issues like religion, politics and culture in Iran. But when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her family and doctors encouraged silence. On this issue, they thought, you could not speak the truth. Melody would not be quiet. She decided to write a memoir of her experiences so that others with the disorder, and those who know them, could better understand. The memoir is called “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” (Avery/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks to her about her experience.

a pharmicist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Behavioral health clinics in Wake County are shutting down today. That means about 2,000 people who have mental illnesses and rely on Medicaid are transitioning to treatment from private providers, but the county has been under a time crunch to transfer patients and some doctors worry theirs are falling through the cracks.

Margery Sved is a psychiatrist with Wake County Health and Human Services and one of 200 people who are being laid off today.

Wright School
Wright School

Lawmakers will make many choices when they decide on a final state budget in the coming days. One of them will be whether or not to keep open the Wright School, a residential facility in Durham that treats children from across the state who have serious emotional and behavioral disorders.

a pharmacist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Differences in state budget proposals are prompting mental health advocates to rally for more spending on group homes and treatment. 

Gov. Pat McCrory's budget increases spending on mental health by about 2 percent over the next two years.  But the state Senate's plan cuts about 3 percent. 

The Seventh Angel By Alex McKeithen
http://www.theseventhangelbook.com/

When Alex McKeithen was a junior at Davidson College in the late '80s, his life changed. He was visiting Paris and studying art when one day he found himself stripping naked in public and proclaiming himself the seventh angel of the apocalypse. It was the beginning of an undiagnosed episode of bipolar disorder, and that experience is the focus of his memoir, "The Seventh Angel" (Lorimer Press/2012).

Aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Aaron 'tango' Tang via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mental health experts in Fayetteville are hosting a community forum on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder a week after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Surveys showed older adults who play video games scored higher on well-being tests than those who don't.
Anne McLaughlin / ncsu.edu

Researchers at N.C. State say playing video games might have positive psychological effects later in life.  A report released this week says a study of people who were 63 or older found those who play video or computer games at least occasionally reported more positive emotions in a mental health survey than those who don't.


"There's a whole gaming industry that's focused on the 12-year-old to 21-year-old demographic," says Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of the study.

Pages