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Southeastern Mental Health Center facing budget shortfall

WILMINGTON -- The Southeastern Center for Mental Health treats thousands of patients throughout our area and is facing a multi-million dollar budget shortfall. Center Director Art Costantini has asked the state for money. The state said to ask the county -- then the county commissioners said to ask the state again. The center's director says the $2 million shortfall resulted from a combination of problems, from a computer glitch to fewer funds from the state. Costantini says the shortage was the result of more clients and more services offered. Costantini blames computer software that didn't track expenses, but also admits the center should have done a better job keeping up with the budget. The computer issues have now been fixed, but to compensate for the money shortage Costantini plans on taking a closer look at the care patients are receiving. He said, "We're going back and looking to see what is medically necessary- what level of services how many services should people get and what's appropriate for their level of needs." The state says if there is any extra money to go around it will try to help Southeastern Mental Health. Costantini says he doubts the center will see any more money, but regardless, believes his patients are still receiving adequate care. He says there will probably be additional problems across the state. The federal government has just held back $175 million earmarked for North Carolina mental health until the state can do a better job accounting for where their dollars are going.

Mental health care in correction facilities

The January death of Brunswick County inmate Senaca Vaught prompted local officials to take a closer look at the mental health systems in our jails. Vaught, a morbidly obese inmate, died of suffocation after an altercation with officers just one week before a scheduled mental health evaluation. Typically evaluations are made almost immediately when inmates with suspected mental illness are sent to jail. But staff members face bumps in the road: sometimes there's not enough money, or time, or trained therapists to meet the needs of inmates. Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing said the problems began when the state stopped providing mental health services to local jails. Now the state oversees the system and it's counties' responsibility to find a provider for inmates, which can be challenging. Costantini says the system still needs to step it up. He said, "I think we've got a ways to go in terms of refining our relationship between the mental health community and the jail community. We are not doing a nearly as good job as we could and should and that needs to be brought forward in a much more systematic way." Costantini says inmates who need urgent care are usually seen within 24 hours. Those who don't need emergency attention will get the first available appointment. Costantini says it's almost like booking an emergency or non emergency doctors appointment. It's important to note, though, that officials are working to help speed up this process.

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Maybe if so many people out

Maybe if so many people out there with so-called ADD or ADHD or depression ect. stopped trying to get any kind of free ride they can, then maybe the people who actually NEED help can get it. It fustrates me to see all these people being diagnosed with ADD or ADHD getting disability when they do not deserve it. How about go out an get your self a job to pay for your cigs. or your booz or your drugs or any other stuff you need. Get a grip people. Leave the disability money to people who ACTUALLY NEED IT!

More than ADD ADHD

You dont have a clue do you and yet you yap your mouth. Children with ADD or ADHD are unable to be properly educated without treatment. The less educated someone is the more likely they are to say things they don't know anything about which will isolate them in society (poor job etc) and the more likely they are to live on welfare or poverty. They will grow up to be bitter, resenting people who become depressed and will develop illnesses that will cost taxpayers billions. According to a Montreal Heart Institute study, depressed patients with heart attacks are four times more likely to die within six months as their non-depressed counterparts. A Washington University study found that depressed people with newly-diagnosed heart disease are twice as likely to have a heart attack or require bypass surgery. A recent Johns Hopkins study concluded that those who are depressed are four times more likely to have a heart attack within fourteen years. Diabetes findings are equally as depressing: A Kaiser Permanente study discovered that those with diabetes were more likely to have been treated for depression within six months before their diabetes diagnosis. About 84 percent of diabetics also reported a higher rate of earlier depressive episodes. As for cancer, a National Institute of Aging study found that chronically depressed people were 88 percent more likely to develop cancer. Meanwhile, those who experience major depression increase their risk of stroke by 73 percent, according to a two-decade study by the Centers for Disease Control. And a study of 5201 men and women aged 65 years and older published in the American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine reported that even milder forms of depression constitute a mortality risk factor in the elderly. The fact that we know nothing about the actual cause and effect moved the editorial writer to conclude: "Depression now demands the aggressive level of research in the next quarter of a century that smoking, cancer, and heart disease have received in the past quarter of a century." Meanwhile, statisticians and other practitioners of medical arcana are engaging themselves in the exercise of figuring out depression's true kill rate. A 1998 study, The Global Burden of Disease, published by Harvard University Press, credited depression as the fourth leading cause of "disease-burden" in 1990 and will be the single leading cause by 2020. Then there is the whole issue of depression and smoking, depression and alcoholism, and depression and drug abuse, where the chickens have yet to be sorted from the eggs but where the association is more than apparent. A SAMHSA report on adolescents and substance abuse is more than representative. Among the highlights: adolescents with serious emotional problems are twice as likely to be using marijuana and cigarettes, and four times more likely to be using illicit drugs. When you take all this into account, treating depression saves us money and lives.

The suits and ties mess it

The suits and ties mess it up, to avoid taking responsibility,then figure out how the mentally ill can take the hit for their blunder. I have seen this happen in other states. It's a great plan. Mentally ill rarely if ever vote. Their voice goes unheard. Soon we will see thousands of homeless, on the streets of Wilmington. Next we'll have to impose a camping ban to save our beautiful town from appearing unsafe to tourist. Then they'll pass a silly work around law where by you are ticketed if you set anything resembling a book bag down on any major street where tourist may get the impression we actually do have a homeless population. Of course you won't get a ticket if youhave a school id. This will keep the mentally ill so far on the out skirts of town they will no longer be able to get to the soup kitchens, social services, bus lines, ect. It works perfectly. Eventually The mentally move to the next state and become someone else's problem. Hey don't try this with President Bush's Capital City of Austin. They are way ahead of us on this one. They just built more prisons. Hey that's one way to fuel the local economy.

magical mental health pills

I thought southeastern mental health was shut down but used to be located out by new hanover reginoal hospital and closed down a few years ago and everyone had to find new providers for mental health. no matter what your problem is all the doctors do is give you that pharmacuitacal rep, slobber mouth ,thorizine and say next ,i have never had any decent help in the 12 years i have been disabled and i am not just saying that when i realized what caused my problems mentally ,i looked back and said dang what a wonderful job those docs didnt do in helping my mental situation i could have been 10 times better off in my life, but i had to figuire things out my self , yeah sure doc that dosage or miligram is ok we will try it , doctor is the one who is crazy i wouldnt test that medicine they prescribe on my dog ,the last medicine they prescribed me was taken off the shelf and a law suit for billions of dollars was granted it was causing severe side effects but those pill pushers in the docs office those credit card carriers for the pharm companys they treat doc right for his approval of those wonderful slobber mouth ,side effectpills that are megically gonna cure evevryones mental health problem , next