Expanded programs support behavioral health issues during pandemic

“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 expectant parents, COVID-19 brings changes, uncertaint­y

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.

New county program aims to reduce harm, treat inmate addiction

“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.

At 25, Rathbun House provides refuge for patients’ families and caregivers

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.

Wise Women gather at Kanuga

“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.

Rev. Jim Abbott

Asheville shows proposals for affordable housing on city-owned land

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.