A WNC mental-health agency faced tough questions earlier this week about its decision to limit its publicly funded services to a select group of providers. Western North Carolina’s lead mental-health agency, Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, held a community forum Tuesday, June 23, that packed Asheville’s First Baptist Church. After a brief presentation by agency staff, a question-and-answer segment […]
At the Nov. 5 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting, the board will tackle a rezoning, grants for the Mountain Mobility transportation program, and changing the rules for a local mental health authority.
For Army veteran William Gallion, a busy schedule makes finding time to treat back injuries and post traumatic stress disorder difficult. But thanks to a collaboration between Connected Warriors and Happy Body yoga studio, he and other veterans have been able to find relief through yoga.
Despite having no military base nearby, nearly 20,000 veterans call Buncombe County home — giving it the sixth-largest veteran population in the state. As local visits for PTSD, depression, substance abuse, homelessness and unemployment continues to climb at Charles George VA, three local veterans share their struggles and stories about mental health. (Cover design by Sarah Riddle)
Unmarked and invisible from the main road, the adult-care home Canterbury Hills illustrates some of the underlying challenges in modern health care, especially for those with long-term mental illnesses who may have few other alternatives.
Canterbury Hills, an adult care home with a history of complaints, EMS calls and state violations, will close at the end of the month. The announcement came quietly through letters the Candler facility’s director Wittner Wright sent on July 1 to the Buncombe County Health Department and N.C. Division of Health Care Regulation.
Local poet and performer Griffin Payne, pictured above, teaches theater-workshop participants how to share their stories in new and creative ways. The weekly workshops are for people affected by mental illness, whether directly or indirectly, and is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Western Carolina. (Photo by Max Cooper)
Everything went as planned this morning when board members of Western Highlands Network unanimously adopted a management agreement with Smoky Mountain Center — making the legal document effective immediately and the eventual merger between the two entities ever closer.
Smoky Mountain Center unanimously adopts a management agreement with Western Highlands Network. According to board members from both organizations, Western Highlands will likely adopt the same legal document at its 8:30 a.m. meeting tomorrow, May 24. (Photo of Western Highlands interim CEO Charlie Schoenheit by Caitlin Byrd)
As a private psychotherapist, Paul Fugelsang understands the struggle between saying “yes” to middle-class clients who can’t afford his services and “no” to people in need. To meet those challenges, Fugelsang recently launched a national nonprofit, the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective. Its mission is to make it easier for people to find the counseling they need at a price they can afford, and to reward and encourage counselors to say “yes” to a group Fugelsang says is “falling through the cracks.” (Photo of Paul Fugelsang by Max Cooper)
As the July 31 deadline looms for ending Western Highlands Network’s state Medicaid contract, its board hopes to keep mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services close to home. (Above, WHN board member Steve Wyatt announces the board’s the resolution of intent to merge with Smoky Mountain. Photo by Caitlin Byrd)
One week after state officials notified Western Highlands Network that its Medicaid waiver contract will end July 31, WHN board members report that the Asheville-based organization’s future will come in one of two ways: merge with another local management entity, or pilot an integrated health-care program.
The concept of peers helping peers is nothing new in health care, but in Buncombe County the interest in peer support specialists is growing. Known informally as PSS, these people help others navigate the mental health and substance abuse system. However, peer support specialists have a unique perspective: They’re in recovery from mental illness and/or substance abuse themselves. As of March 21, there were 838 peer support specialists in North Carolina, 65 of them in Buncombe County. (Map courtesy of the Peer Support Specialist Program at UNC-Chapel Hill)
In your Feb. 6 article, Rethinking Mental Health, the overall tone was quite critical of modern psychiatry and the use of psychoactive medications to treat various forms of mental illness. While it is clear that many psychiatrists, and physicians in general, are too quick to prescribe potent medications without exploring other approaches to treatment, it […]
While there is controversy regarding the use of drugs such as antidepressants, if psychotropic medications work for some individuals with severe brain imbalances, then such an option that should remain on the table.
A growing movement, both locally and nationally, that’s challenging the most fundamental assumptions about mental illness. (Pictured: Faith Rhyne. Photo by Max Cooper)
After planning for more than a year, Asheville natives E.J. Horrocks and Alex Manfred will make their Appalachian Trail dreams come true while raising money to help Lori Greenberg make Aurora Studio & Gallery a reality. (Flier image courtesy of Aurora Gallery & Studio)
I am a prime example of why North Carolina needs a “need for treatment” mental-health law that will allow for the forced treatment and forced drugging of mentally ill individuals who, while they may not be dangerous, are in need of treatment. I should be in mental-health treatment, seeing a psychiatrist, receiving long-acting antipsychotic injections […]
With a multi-million dollar deficit still looming over Western Highlands Network, the organization’s board members will have to find another way to balance the budget after they withdrew their most recent budget reduction plan. (Photo of interim CEO Charles Schoenheit by Caitlin Byrd)
Buncombe County struggles with a high suicide rate, and though old wives’ tales say that letting someone talk about killing themself will make them more likely to do it, local health experts disagree. “That is not true. It’s actually the opposite,” says Sue Brooks, executive director of All Souls Counseling Center at 35 Arlington St. […]
Do the holidays leave you feeling knocked out? Deflated? Overwhelmed? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Find some tips for coping within. Photo by Calvin Allen.