Virtual schooling is a constant challenge for children with disabilities. School-based resources like speech and physical therapy are hard to deliver remotely — and federal limitations to Medicaid have kept families from filling an essential gap in help for their kids.
The pandemic has isolated rural residents with mental health needs. But these North Carolina providers are finding creative ways to connect.
“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.
“It’s important to get our economy moving forward. We’re helping with unemployment payments, stimulus money and the businesses that continue to be open,” Gov. Roy Cooper said at an April 23 press conference. “But I won’t risk the health of our people or our hospitals. And easing these restrictions now would do that.”
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.
Rhonda Cox blows off steam at a mixed martial arts class. She says her boss at Vaya Health inspired her to make time for wellness in her schedule.
A document that allows mental health patients to request personalized treatment from providers during times of crisis is beginning to gain popularity among those wishing to take charge of their health care decisions.
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.
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.
“The reason for this extraordinary housing retention rate is Homeward Bound doesn’t just put people in homes and forget about them; we provide ongoing support called case management.”
Mental Health Month, observed in the U.S. since 1949, brings awareness to the importance of maintaining mental health as much as physical health.
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).