Cardinal Innovations Celebrates Mental Health Awareness Month

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — May 05, 2015
KANNAPOLIS, N.C., MAY 5, 2015 – Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions will join a national effort to celebrate May as Mental Health Awareness Month with events planned throughout its 16-county service area including an emphasis on Mental Health First Aid training.

Mental illness is “collectively all diagnosable mental disorders” or “health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 25 percent of adults experience a mental health problem in any given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and nearly 6 percent of adults live with serious mental illness such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Additionally, about 10 percent of young people live with a mental health condition that interferes with day-to-day activities.

In 2013, President Barack Obama proclaimed May as National Mental Health Awareness Month, encouraging the nation to build understanding of mental illness, increase access to treatment and ensure those who struggle know they are not alone.

“The more you see it, the more you hear about it, the more comfortable you are with it and it’s just a part of life,” said Cardinal Innovations Transitions to Community Living Manager Larry Swabe, who has bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression. “That’s why you have all these stars talking about it.”

Swabe now helps others with mental illness move from adult care facilities to their own homes in the community. About 75 individuals have been served since the program began last year.

“When we look at the diagnoses and all the medications people are on, they might say they wouldn’t be able to do this,” Swabe said. “I say, ‘Excuse me, here I am. Look at me and all these other people.’ ”

Cardinal Innovations, a managed care organization serving 2.4 million people in 16 counties including Mecklenburg, oversees Medicaid and state funding for mental health disorders in its service area. Cardinal Innovations has planned several events to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month including Mental Health First Aid training, depression screenings, Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training and other events.

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour course that teaches participants how to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. QPR Suicide Prevention training offers three simple steps to help prevent suicide. Anyone can take these trainings, which have been taken by school officials, law
enforcement, firefighters, doctors, nurses and more.
“Cardinal Innovations plans three annual awareness months each year to provide education and elevate
conversation around our mission and the services we provide,” said Kim McMillan, SVP Marketing &
Communications. “The events are focused on providing opportunities for internal and external
conversations around accessing services and reducing stigma around mental health,
intellectual/developmental disabilities and substance use.”
The Cardinal Innovations staff can help you or your family member find information and/or navigate the
system. Cardinal Innovations’ Community Partners Department includes Consumer Affairs Specialists who
have family members with mental health disorders who receive services. 

Here’s a list of upcoming mental health awareness events:

Mecklenburg region
The Mecklenburg Region, which covers Charlotte and the Mecklenburg County area, will participate in
these Mental Health Awareness Events.

Mental Health First Aid training
Event description: Learn a five-step plan to offer initial help to people with signs and symptoms of a mental
illness or crisis and connect them to help.
Time: 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Dates: May 5-6
Location: Mecklenburg Community Operations Center, 1100 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C.

Make Charlotte Ring
Time: noon-1 p.m.
Date: May 7
Location: Mecklenburg County Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St., Charlotte, N.C.

Wake Up for Wellness Sponsorship
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Date: May 21
Location: Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St., Charlotte, N.C.

Southern Region
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Cardinal Innovations Southern Region, which includes
Cabarrus, Davidson, Rowan, Union and Stanly counties, will offer these events:

Simulation in Psychosis
Description: Learn the facts about psychosis and schizophrenia in this two-hour presentation. Cardinal
Innovations employees will lead these events.
Time and date: Must be scheduled. A minimum of eight participants is required to schedule a simulation
with a maximum of 24 participants per event.
Location: Delivered at the location of your choice.

Mental Health First Aid training
Time: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Dates: May 12-13
Cost: $20 per person (includes book and snack)
Location: Davidson County Health Department, Second Floor Training Room, 915 N. Greensboro St.,
Lexington, N.C.

“Hidden Pictures: A Personal Journey into Global Mental Health” Film Screening
Description: Filmmaker Delaney Ruston explores bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia and anxiety
through poignant personal stories from around the world in India, South Africa, China, France and the
United States.
Screenings: May 16, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Thomasville Library, 14 Randolph St., Thomasville, N.C.; May 18, 7-
8:30 p.m., Cabarrus Senior Center, 331 Corban Ave., Concord, N.C.; and May 19, 7-8:30 p.m., Gloria Dei
Lutheran Church, 1908 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury, N.C.

Mental Health First Aid training
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dates: May 19-20
Cost: $20 per person (includes book and snack)
Location: Agricultural Services and Conference Center, 3230 Presson Drive, Monroe, N.C.

QPR Suicide Prevention Training
Time: 10 a.m. – noon
Dates: May 29
Location: Stanly Commons in the Partnership Room, 1000 North First St., Albemarle, N.C.


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