Mental Health

Doctors at UNC Chapel Hill want to improve the physical health of patients with severe mental illness. U-N-C's Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health has received a grant from the Duke Endowment to create a "health home" for patients with mental illness. Director John Gilmore says people with serious mental health issues like schizophrenia sometimes have trouble tending to their physical health. Gilmore says psychiatrists treating patients at the center will look out for other problems as well.

A new counseling program begins tonight for teens in the Triad.

Text 4 Teens is a program that allows youths to seek support without saying a word. Teenagers can use texting to find help with depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse pressures or relationship problems. Michael Cottingham with Center Point Human Services believes using newer technology is the best way to connect.

An intensive law enforcement training program in Durham teaches police officers how to recognize signs of mental illness when responding to emergency calls. The Crisis Intervention Team program works through a partnership between the Durham Police Department and The Durham Center, a county agency that manages a network of private providers who supply mental disability and substance abuse treatment for low income citizens. Host Frank Stasio talks to Sgt.

Nashville housing counselor Louetta Hix
Rose Hoban

  In the last 10 years, multiple studies have concluded that housing people with mental health disabilities in adult and family care homes is not the best plan for them. Each study has recommended phasing out use of the homes and improving the system. Despite that, the number of homes has increased along with the number of adults with mental illness who live in them.

For people with mental health disabilities, housing’s an intensely personal issue. Many want to live independently, some want to live with others. But mostly, what folks with mental health problems say they want is some choice in the matter. But housing is a political and economic issue too. Many factors prevent people with mental health disabilities from getting the housing they want… and need.

 

It probably wouldn’t occur to him, but Alfred Brown is in the vanguard. He’s weathered a lifetime of schizophrenia and alcohol abuse…

Clinton Toy in front of his Nashville home.
Rose Hoban

  Around the country, advocates have come to realize that one of the most important services for people with mental health disabilities is housing – and that most people with disabilities are able to live independently with some help. States have tried many strategies to create suitable housing options. Tennessee dedicates a small amount of state money every year to local groups that succeed pretty well.  

Thousands of people with mental health disabilities live in large adult care homes and in smaller family care homes in North Carolina. Advocates argue that many of these facilities are too institutional to truly help their residents integrate into the community. Now the federal government is investigating the state. Justice Department attorneys contend the state’s reliance on such facilities to house people with mental illness could violate federal law and Supreme Court rulings. 

Mental health reformers have repeated their intention to move people out of large institutions toward treatment options closer to home. But even as people have left hospitals, local resources have not kept pace.  That means in North Carolina, many people with mental health disabilities live in adult care homes designed for frail elderly people. Now the U S Justice Department is investigating this situation. 

New Model For Delivering Mental Health Care

Jan 7, 2011

With the beginning of the new year, yet another big change came to the state mental health system. January first marked the implementation date for a new type of provider agency to deliver services. They’re called CABHAs… and they’re intended to lower cost and improve quality. The question is… will CABHA’s work?

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