Mental Health

What is this ability to step into someone else’s shoes? To imagine how they feel, to hurt for them or to be happy for them? 


Mental health is a focus of national dialogue in the wake of mass shootings around the country. What makes people kill, seemingly without remorse?

An audit of the Veterans Affairs office in Fayetteville says employees have not conducted proper follow-up procedures for veterans at a high risk of suicide.  Federal policy calls for offices to get in touch with high-risk patients for a month after they visit the VA hospital.  The audit says the Fayetteville office followed up with patients for two weeks in nine out of ten cases.  Fayetteville VA executive director Elizabeth Goolsby says the office has a large case load of high-risk patients.

"We regret that is the circumstance that they found," Goolsby says.

GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS, Flickr, Creative Commons

Treatment for mental illness that is safe, healthy, and not too expensive can be hard to find. But new research from  Duke University suggests that yoga might be effective in treating certain psychiatric symptoms.

The Latino immigrant population faces a host of unique problems when it comes to mental health treatment. Migration trauma and separation issues are just a few of their struggles. The population in North Carolina is underserved, which is why a group of mental health professionals formed the group El Futuro. The group serves the mental health needs of the state’s Latino population, and it is hosting a conference this Friday on the topic. Host Frank Stasio talks about Latino mental health with Luke Smith, executive director of El Futuro; and Karla Siu, clinical manager at El Futuro.

What is this ability to step into someone else’s shoes? To imagine how they feel - and to hurt for them or be happy for them?  Host Frank Stasio is joined by a panel of experts to discuss empathy, the trait that makes us uniquely human.

A public-private partnership is doing a good job of taking care of people suffering from mental illness. --- That, according to a new report from The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.

Three-way contracts were instituted more than four years ago as part of a new initiative from the Division of Mental Health. The contracts allow the state to buy beds in local hospitals to provide care for people who are in crisis. Mebane Rash is an Attorney with state Center for Public Policy Research.

DSM-V

Dec 13, 2012

The bible of the psychiatric community is undergoing a major revision. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness or DSM has just approved its fifth revision. The DSM-V includes big changes to certain categories, including depression, dementia and autism. Some say the changes go too far.

On Tuesday, North Carolina’s Council of State is expected to decide whether to lease a huge tract of land to the City of Raleigh to create a park. The more than 300 acre site is home to what used to be the state’s Dorothea Dix psychiatric hospital, which is now closed. Many civic and business leaders support the idea of creating a downtown park in Raleigh. But lawmakers have spoken out against it, saying Governor Perdue is moving too quickly with the project.

Duke Medicine is leading a collaboration with the Durham public schools and local agencies to develop better-integrated mental health care for children. Helen Egger is a child psychiatrist at Duke and leads the initiative. She says too often kids with psychiatric disorders are shuffled between schools, hospitals, and law enforcement- each addressing the problems on their own terms. Egger wants to develop school-based models that can fill in the gaps between services.

It's the end of an era. The last mental health patient has been transferred from Dorothea Dix hospital in Raleigh to the newer Central Regional in Butner. The closure has been in the works for more than a decade. Lucky Welsh oversees the network of state psychiatric hospitals for the Department of Health and Human Services:

More than 13 million American children and teenagers suffer from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, hyperactivity and other mental illnesses. The naturally irrational, impulsive or volatile behavior kids exhibit every day makes it tough to accurately diagnose them and medicating minors is a controversial practice, particularly when the study of child mental health is considered under-researched.

Wake County residents who need mental health care could become UNC Health Care patients later this year.

Doctors at UNC Chapel Hill want to improve the physical health of patients with severe mental illness. U-N-C's Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health has received a grant from the Duke Endowment to create a "health home" for patients with mental illness. Director John Gilmore says people with serious mental health issues like schizophrenia sometimes have trouble tending to their physical health. Gilmore says psychiatrists treating patients at the center will look out for other problems as well.

A new counseling program begins tonight for teens in the Triad.

Text 4 Teens is a program that allows youths to seek support without saying a word. Teenagers can use texting to find help with depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse pressures or relationship problems. Michael Cottingham with Center Point Human Services believes using newer technology is the best way to connect.

An intensive law enforcement training program in Durham teaches police officers how to recognize signs of mental illness when responding to emergency calls. The Crisis Intervention Team program works through a partnership between the Durham Police Department and The Durham Center, a county agency that manages a network of private providers who supply mental disability and substance abuse treatment for low income citizens. Host Frank Stasio talks to Sgt.

Nashville housing counselor Louetta Hix
Rose Hoban

  In the last 10 years, multiple studies have concluded that housing people with mental health disabilities in adult and family care homes is not the best plan for them. Each study has recommended phasing out use of the homes and improving the system. Despite that, the number of homes has increased along with the number of adults with mental illness who live in them.

For people with mental health disabilities, housing’s an intensely personal issue. Many want to live independently, some want to live with others. But mostly, what folks with mental health problems say they want is some choice in the matter. But housing is a political and economic issue too. Many factors prevent people with mental health disabilities from getting the housing they want… and need.

 

It probably wouldn’t occur to him, but Alfred Brown is in the vanguard. He’s weathered a lifetime of schizophrenia and alcohol abuse…

Clinton Toy in front of his Nashville home.
Rose Hoban

  Around the country, advocates have come to realize that one of the most important services for people with mental health disabilities is housing – and that most people with disabilities are able to live independently with some help. States have tried many strategies to create suitable housing options. Tennessee dedicates a small amount of state money every year to local groups that succeed pretty well.  

Thousands of people with mental health disabilities live in large adult care homes and in smaller family care homes in North Carolina. Advocates argue that many of these facilities are too institutional to truly help their residents integrate into the community. Now the federal government is investigating the state. Justice Department attorneys contend the state’s reliance on such facilities to house people with mental illness could violate federal law and Supreme Court rulings. 

Mental health reformers have repeated their intention to move people out of large institutions toward treatment options closer to home. But even as people have left hospitals, local resources have not kept pace.  That means in North Carolina, many people with mental health disabilities live in adult care homes designed for frail elderly people. Now the U S Justice Department is investigating this situation. 

New Model For Delivering Mental Health Care

Jan 7, 2011

With the beginning of the new year, yet another big change came to the state mental health system. January first marked the implementation date for a new type of provider agency to deliver services. They’re called CABHAs… and they’re intended to lower cost and improve quality. The question is… will CABHA’s work?

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