Saturday, October 17, 2009

Haywood Reg Med Cntr opens Service Member's Counseling & Support Center

Some Mental Health Services Cut While Others Put Into Place
by Marsha V. Hammond, PhD Licensed Psychologist, NC
828 772 1127, cell phone
e mail:

On October 16, 2009, in Asheville, Mountain Area Health Education Center made available training for mental health providers who desire to work with veterans and their families. In striking contrast to the cutting of mental health care services, particularly for NC state funded/ IPRS (non-insured; no Medicare, no Medicaid) consumers, monies have been allocated for the mental health care of veterans and their families.

On October 1, 2009, the 'grand opening' of Service Member's Counseling and Support Center took place at Haywood Regional Medical Center Urgent Care Center. Haywood county has more residents in the National Guard than any other county in NC. Additionally, the rates of National Guard veterans reporting mental health problems is 49% according to CSSP (Community Service Systems Providers).

In western NC, veterans can receive health care at the VA in Asheville but there is only one satellite clinic in western NC, specifically, Franklin. Providers can utilize TRICARE as insurance associated with veterans. Health Net Federal Services manages TRICARE for NC.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) not uncommonly are experienced by veterans when in Iraq or Afghanistan. The sequelae of PTSD include temper control problems, social isolation, boredom, and contributes significantly to marital and relationship difficulties. TBI can be subtle and is reflected in problems with speaking, hearing, seeing, or organizing one's thoughts, as well as headaches and impulsive behavior.

This support center's available information indicates a strategy of 'no one turned away' and can be contacted at 452 8354. This is a very welcome addition to mental health care services in mostly rural western NC.


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