Mental Health

RadioIQ

It’s not unusual for teenagers to struggle with depression, anxiety and substance abuse – problems students are reluctant to discuss with their parents or teachers.  The situation resonates with pop star Lady Gaga, who is funding a new approach to teen mental health – a program being tested at eight schools nationwide – two of them here in Virginia. 

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As May comes to a close, the issues surrounding mental health continue to resonate during Mental Health Awareness Month. Some parts of the state are struggling more than others.

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Across Virginia there’s been an uptick in psychiatric admissions to hospitals, to the point where beds are filling up. Thursday a group from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association rolled out some ideas on what can be done.

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Someone trying to get a mental health evaluation can now walk into any of the state’s community services boards and get one right away, instead of waiting days or even weeks for an appointment. It’s a dramatic shift that the state has been working towards for years.

In a recent survey nearly half of the 20,000 people questioned said they were lonely – that they had fewer social contacts and meaningful relationships than they’d like.  The problem is especially common in people who are already dealing with mental illness, but a program in Charlottesville offers a solution.

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