Mental Health

Melody Moezzi's 'Haldol and Hyacinths'
Avery Publishing


Melody Moezzi has always been outspoken. As an Iranian-American writer and attorney, she has devoted herself to discussing controversial issues like religion, politics and culture in Iran. But when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her family and doctors encouraged silence. On this issue, they thought, you could not speak the truth. Melody would not be quiet. She decided to write a memoir of her experiences so that others with the disorder, and those who know them, could better understand. The memoir is called “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” (Avery/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks to her about her experience.

a pharmicist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Behavioral health clinics in Wake County are shutting down today. That means about 2,000 people who have mental illnesses and rely on Medicaid are transitioning to treatment from private providers, but the county has been under a time crunch to transfer patients and some doctors worry theirs are falling through the cracks.

Margery Sved is a psychiatrist with Wake County Health and Human Services and one of 200 people who are being laid off today.

Wright School
Wright School

Lawmakers will make many choices when they decide on a final state budget in the coming days. One of them will be whether or not to keep open the Wright School, a residential facility in Durham that treats children from across the state who have serious emotional and behavioral disorders.

a pharmacist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Differences in state budget proposals are prompting mental health advocates to rally for more spending on group homes and treatment. 

Gov. Pat McCrory's budget increases spending on mental health by about 2 percent over the next two years.  But the state Senate's plan cuts about 3 percent. 

The Seventh Angel By Alex McKeithen

When Alex McKeithen was a junior at Davidson College in the late '80s, his life changed. He was visiting Paris and studying art when one day he found himself stripping naked in public and proclaiming himself the seventh angel of the apocalypse. It was the beginning of an undiagnosed episode of bipolar disorder, and that experience is the focus of his memoir, "The Seventh Angel" (Lorimer Press/2012).

Aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Aaron 'tango' Tang via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mental health experts in Fayetteville are hosting a community forum on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder a week after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Surveys showed older adults who play video games scored higher on well-being tests than those who don't.
Anne McLaughlin /

Researchers at N.C. State say playing video games might have positive psychological effects later in life.  A report released this week says a study of people who were 63 or older found those who play video or computer games at least occasionally reported more positive emotions in a mental health survey than those who don't.

"There's a whole gaming industry that's focused on the 12-year-old to 21-year-old demographic," says Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of the study.

What is this ability to step into someone else’s shoes? To imagine how they feel, to hurt for them or to be happy for them? 

Mental health is a focus of national dialogue in the wake of mass shootings around the country. What makes people kill, seemingly without remorse?

An audit of the Veterans Affairs office in Fayetteville says employees have not conducted proper follow-up procedures for veterans at a high risk of suicide.  Federal policy calls for offices to get in touch with high-risk patients for a month after they visit the VA hospital.  The audit says the Fayetteville office followed up with patients for two weeks in nine out of ten cases.  Fayetteville VA executive director Elizabeth Goolsby says the office has a large case load of high-risk patients.

"We regret that is the circumstance that they found," Goolsby says.