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Cardinal Innovations Northern Region 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:

Northern Region
Cardinal Innovations Northern Region, which includes Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Orange, Person, Vance and Warren counties, has several events planned in May to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month.

Serving the Alamance and Caswell communities.

Changing Perception to Caswell County Youth and Families
Time: 3-6:30 p.m.
Dates: May 15
Location: Caswell County Parks and Recreation Department, 228 County Park Road, Yanceyville, N.C.

Depression Screening
Time: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dates: May 25
Location: Alamance-Caswell COC, 2541 S. Church St. Burlington, N.C.

Mental Health First Aid Training
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dates: May 27-29
Location: Yanceyville Municipal Services Building, 158 E. Church St., Yanceyville, N.C.

Five County
Serving the Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Vance, and Warren communities.

Depression Screening
Dates: May 6
Location: Five County Community Operations Center (COC), 134 S. Garnett St., Henderson, N.C.

Psychosis Simulation
Description: Learn the facts about psychosis and schizophrenia in this two-hour presentation.
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
Date: May 12
Location: Warren County Memorial Library, 119 S. Front St., Warrenton, N.C.

Serving the Orange, Person and Chatham communities.

Personality Disorders 101: Tips for Effective work with this Population
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
Dates: May 12
Location: OPC Community Operations Center (COC), 201 Sage Road, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Depression Screening
Dates: May 18
Location: OPC Community Operations Center (COC), 201 Sage Road, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Mental Health First Aid training
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Dates: May 26 and 29
Location: OPC Community Operations Center (COC), 201 Sage Road, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Futures Planning
Event description: Engage your young adult child in preparing for life after high school. Designed for parents and youth ages 14-26. Facilitated by Damie Jackson-Diop of Youth M.O.V.E. Lunch provided.
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dates: May 30
Location: OPC Community Operations Center (COC), 201 Sage Road, Chapel Hill, N.C.


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