Anton Sluder never thought he’d be excited about his future. “Who was going to help someone like me?” he says. With a felony record and a history of substance use, he had little hope. But when Sluder left prison in September 2021, he was assigned a peer support specialist through Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery […]
Buncombe County is one of the 91 counties the Office of Rural Health has designated as experiencing a behavioral health professional shortage. In fact, the 2022 departmental map designates all 16 counties of Western North Carolina as experiencing a shortage.
“In order to move forward with a solution, more support must be provided to the homeless in the areas of affordable housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment and pet-friendly shelters.”
Cooper is a self-described change agent who provides support and resources to people recovering from addiction and re-entering the workforce after incarceration.
The 20 years that Kevin Mahoney served in the U.S. Air Force might sound like a dream deployment for some. Mahoney, who lives in Asheville, joined at 24 and trained as a cryptolinguist in Arabic and Farsi. The Air Force deployed him to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. He was able to travel […]
Briefly, it seemed like the coronavirus pandemic had turned a corner. “People were starting to feel a little bit optimistic this summer,” says Ariel Shumaker, an Asheville therapist in private practice, about COVID-19. “And now, it’s not feeling optimistic.” Fatigue, sadness, anxiety, rage, fear, exhaustion — these are the emotions area behavioral health professionals report […]
“Often we can reach folks better through technology than we can face to face,” says Shane Lunsford of the Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness. As telehealth service offerings and technological capabilities expand, providers around the region are excited about the possibilities of new models of seeing patients and providing care.
Ben’s Friends, a support group for food and beverage industry workers dealing with substance abuse and addiction, held its first meeting at 11 a.m. July 23 at Posana, 1 Biltmore Ave., Asheville. Meetings will continue weekly on Tuesdays at the same time and place. No registration is required. Founded in Charleston, S.C., in 2016 following […]
The Project CARA program housed at MAHEC Ob/Gyn Specialists came into being to decrease barriers and the stigma that prevents pregnant women with substance-use disorders from getting quality obstetrical care as well as access to substance-use treatment. Last year, Project CARA supported 230 women with substance-use disorders and their families from 16 WNC counties.
Local workers, counselors and restaurant leadership discuss how the industry-wide problem affects Asheville’s food scene.
The second annual Western Regional Recovery Rally was held at the Nancy Weldon Open-Air Gym at Lake Junaluska on Sept. 10 to celebrate National Recovery Month and spread the message that people do achieve sustained recovery from addiction, mental illness and other life challenges.
More than two years in the making, partner agencies celebrated the C3356 Comprehensive Care Center’s official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the evening of April 21.
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)
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)
Founded in 2005, the Asheville-Buncombe Drug Commission completed its first annual report. The report, which attempts to give a current look at substance abuse in Buncombe County and provide a plan to address it, was released yesterday, Oct. 15. A link to the report can be found in this post. (Image shown is a screenshot taken of the report itself)