Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, both LGBTQ youths and adults faced obstacles that others never had to think about. And COVID-19 has only exacerbated those disparities.
Currently, 34 children come to St. Gerard each day instead of attending public school, but at any given time, there are more than 100 families on the waiting list, and most wait more than a year to obtain services. The situation is pretty much the same at similar facilities in the area, says Executive Director Caroline Long.
“You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to know that when you take away people’s routines and jobs, it’s difficult for them, especially if they have a mental illness,” says Brian Ingraham, CEO of Vaya Health. New federal funding will help two Western North Carolina agencies expand mental health services, some directly related to the pandemic and the rest addressing overall behavioral health issues.
For women expecting to deliver babies this spring and summer, the coronavirus pandemic has radically reshaped much of the experience of pregnancy and birth. From online prenatal visits to limitations on the number of people who can be present at the birth to uncertainty about the medical implications of the virus for moms and babies, parents and health care providers are figuring it out as they go along.
“We’ve tried to arrest our way out of the drug epidemic for decades, and it hasn’t worked,” says Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller. Now, a new program at the Buncombe County Detention Facility is providing medication-assisted treatment to incarcerated people with substance-use disorder. Studies show MAT is an effective treatment for addiction, which can reduce recidivism and lower the risk of overdose.
Local medical experts weigh in on the effects of screen time on toddlers and children.
Becky Beyer, an ethnobotanist, wild food enthusiast and cultural historian, will lead a workshop on Appalachian folk medicine Saturday, March 14, at the Black Mountain Library.
Public health nursing is all about getting out into the community to improve people’s health where they live, work and eat. It may not be glamorous, but it’s an opportunity to really make a difference, says Hayley McPeters, one of nine Buncombe County nurses honored recently as part of a statewide campaign.
The ownership of Rathbun House — a hospitality house for families and patients from outside Buncombe County who need a place to stay while receiving treatment at local hospitals — changed following the acquisition of Mission Health by for-profit HCA Healthcare last year. But the 25-year-old institution’s mission to provide refuge and community during a stressful time remains unchanged, say staff members and guests.
Whether it’s local issues such as gentrification and overdevelopment or, at the national level, things like health care, the Green New Deal and military spending, the conversations have gotten toxic. Local spiritual advisers, mental health professionals and activists share their tips for staying sane while working for a better world.
As the Western North Carolina community prepares for its first looks inside the new $400 million Mission Health North Tower, Xpress learned about some of the features of the facility, from high-tech touches to local art.
“The focus of the conference is woman to woman, kind of kitchen to kitchen,” explains Byron Ballard, who will present a workshop on traditional Appalachian healing methods at this year’s Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference at the Kanuga conference and retreat center near Hendersonville. “It’s about women being together in a women’s space and being free to talk, to do, to teach and to learn from each other.
This fall, two Buncombe County high schools — T.C. Roberson and A.C. Reynolds — will begin using the Vitals app, which provides information about participating students’ physical, mental and behavioral conditions to school resource officers and other first responders.
Nonprofit Blue Ridge Health has opened eight school-based clinics: five in Henderson County, where the child poverty rate is 22.5% and 5% of children have no health insurance; one in neighboring Polk County (21.3% child poverty, 5.8% uninsured children); and, last month, two in Jackson County.
Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake has established a voluntary registry for residents with dementia. In the event a person on the registry wanders from home or otherwise goes missing, the information can instantly be shared with local emergency responders.
Nearly 11,700 children are in foster care in North Carolina. Eliada Homes, which has long placed and supported children in foster families, recently added adoption services to its offerings, hoping to encourage more parents to consider fostering to adopt.
Today, at least 17 faith communities in Buncombe County and Mars Hill are offering shelter and assistance to immigrants living here without legal papers, according to Melody Pajak of the nonprofit Faith Communities Organizing for Sanctuary.
Give Amazon.com a rest — Western North Carolina is full of small, independent retailers, where the only thing cookie-cutter is the display of, well, cookie cutters.
The three parcels currently being considered for affordable housing are on South Charlotte Street, where the city currently has its Public Works Garage and Fleet Management facilities; on Biltmore Avenue at the old Matthews Ford site and on Riverside Drive at the “Ice House.” Up to 550 new affordable rental units could be developed.
A new Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity development in Candler will mark the organization’s first foray into constructing multifamily homes. The move is necessary, the nonprofit says, to meet the area’s need for affordable housing in the face of high land prices.
Partner organizations are moving forward to implement a multi-year plan aimed at preventing violence against women and maltreatment of children. The effort is funded by an unprecedented $450,000 grant from the Women for Women Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.