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.

Local agencies present update on battle against opioid addiction and overdose

Over 100 members of the community attended Let’s Talk Opioids, described as a “community update and conversation on opioid crisis response in Buncombe County.” The standing room-only crowd listened as in-the-trenches experts presented information, including the Mountain Area Health Education Center, Vaya Health, Asheville Fire Department, Buncombe County Health and Human Services and the N.C. Department of Justice. 

Project CARA helps expectant mothers with substance-use disorders

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.

Caiyalynn Burrell Child Crisis Center opens in Asheville

Since Caiyalynn Burrell’s tragic death from an overdose in 2014, agencies from across the region and the state have come together to find new ways to help children and teens in crisis receive the help they need. The Caiyalynn Burrell Child Crisis Center is now open at 277 Biltmore Ave. in Asheville to respond to psychiatric crises in a supportive, holistic and peaceful environment that also helps patients connect to community resources throughout their treatment and recovery.

Asheville agencies address complexiti­es of opioid addiction and treatment

Health and law enforcement officials in North Carolina are trying to deal with an epidemic of opioid addiction, and they’re moving away from criminal prosecution for substance use disorders. Instead, the newer model is to coordinate care across the divide between physical and behavioral health “silos” (separate areas of service provision).