May is Mental Health Month

Focus on Fitness for your Mind and Body

When you or someone you love is dealing with a mental health concern, sometimes it’s a lot to handle. It’s important to remember that mental health is essential to your overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally. That is why this year’s theme for May is Mental Health Month – Fitness #4Mind4Body – is a call to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health, which can help achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to recovery.

This year’s May is Mental Health Month campaign is meant to educate and inform you about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as help control physical problems like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. A healthy lifestyle also plays a big role in helping people recover from these conditions.

Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live longer and healthier. Your nutrition and gut health affects your mental health. Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of your life and overall health. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health. You need to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities like meditation or yoga.

Remember, mental illnesses are real, common, and treatable. To be as healthy as you can be, you must live a lifestyle that is physically and mentally healthy. If you feel like you may have physical health problems, talk to a doctor. If you feel like you may have a mental health or substance use issue, call us anytime, every day at 1-888-235-HOPE (4673). Also, see how Partners is treating all the parts of your well-being at the same time through Whole Person Integrated Care. For more information about your Fitness #4Mind4Body, visit

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2018

Live Webcast and Virtual Town Hall

The National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day national event, Awareness Day 2018: “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma,” will be hosted and moderated by NBC4 Washington anchor Aaron Gilchrist at The George Washington University’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre on Thursday, May 10, 2018.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will bring together governors’ spouses, youth and family leaders, senior federal officials, and executives from leading professional health organizations for a town hall discussion on how to transform child serving systems to be more trauma informed.

You can watch Awareness Day live by webcast and possibly have your questions answered during the virtual town hall on Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m. EDT. The “virtual” town hall format allows state agency personnel, health care providers, child-serving professionals, and families, youth, and young adults across the country to ask questions through email or social media.

Experts in mental health and primary care, as well as family and youth leaders, will answer questions from the audience and share evidence-based strategies that are effective in improving the lives of children, youth, and young adults who have experienced trauma.

Email questions to by May 8.
Please be sure to include:

  • Your first name
  • Your city and state
  • Your role in your community (parent/caregiver, health care professional, youth leader, teacher, clergy member, community leader, child welfare professional, etc.)

Viewers are encouraged to use the hashtag #HeroesofHope when participating in the national event discussion on social media.

Enrollee Navigator

Appeals or Requests for Review

You have the right to appeal if you disagree with Partners’ decision to deny, reduce, suspend, or terminate a service. An appeal is a request for review. Your provider and care coordinator can help you file a request using the Reconsideration Request Form. Once the request form is submitted, your case will be reviewed and you will be notified in writing of the new decision.

If you are still unhappy with the decision, you can then request a State Fair Hearing from the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. (Please note–you cannot request an appeal for a service no longer offered in the Partners’ Medicaid Benefit Plan.)

To learn more about appeals, download and read our “Know Your Rights–Appealing a Service Decision” document. This guide for appealing decisions includes helpful information, tips, and timelines. If you have specific questions about appeals, call our Appeals Unit at 704-884-2650, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit

In the Community

NEW LOCATION: Lincoln County Health Department

As of Monday, April 30, 2018, the Lincoln County Health Department is open at its new location at 200 Gamble Drive, Lincolnton, NC. You can reach the health department by phone at 704-735-3001.

SUICIDE-The Ripple Effect: A Film and Movement for Hope and Healing

Attend the film and a Q&A and discussion on Thursday, May 10, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., at AMC CLASSIC Shelby 10, 2002 E. Dixon Blvd., Shelby, NC. The film chronicles the story of Kevin Hines, who at age 19 attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Since then, Kevin has been on a mission to use his story to help others stay alive and find recovery. Tickets are free, but quantities are limited and must be reserved. -Please contact Melodie McSwain at or 704‐481‐8637 to reserve tickets. Find out more at

NEW: NAMI Connection Support Group

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) South Mountains, NC is starting a free Connection Support Group beginning on Saturday, May 19, 2018, from 1-2 p.m., at Ollie Harris Behavior Health Center, 200 South Post Road, Shelby, NC. Individuals in mental health recovery can join facilitators John Weeks and Danielle Earl every other Saturday to gain insight from hearing the challenges and successes of others. If you have any questions, please email or call 828-771-6305.

NAMI South Mountains: 2018 Behavioral Health Conference

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) South Mountains, NC is hosting a conference focused on cultivating resources and encouraging cooperation as we “Plant seeds for Children & Adults for better Mental Health and Addiction Recovery.” The conference is on Monday, May 21, 2018, starting at 7:45 a.m., at the Foothills Higher Education Center, 2128 S. Sterling St., Morganton, NC.  NAMI South Mountains, NC will provide up to 8 contact hours included with the registration fee. For questions, contact Diane Krisanda at 1-828-771-6305. For more information or to register, visit the event webpage.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Partners invites you to attend a Youth Mental Health First Aid training. A young person you know could be experiencing a mental health or substance use problem; learn an action plan to help. Youth Mental Health First Aid is highly recommended for teachers, coaches, social workers, faith leaders, and other individuals who regularly have contact with young people ages 12-18. Sometimes first aid isn’t a bandage or CPR or calling 911. Sometimes, first aid is YOU.

Join the Movement on Thursday, May 31, 2018, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., in the Foothills Higher Education Center-Room 211, 2128 S. Sterling St., Morganton, NC. *Must be at least 18 years of age to take this training. Deadline to register is May 29, 2018. For more information, contact Kim Rhoads at 828-323-8049 or at

Certified Peer Support Specialist Training

Peer Support Specialists are people living in recovery with mental illness or substance use disorder who provide support to others who can benefit from their lived experiences. The North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist Program certifies that the peer has met a set of requirements necessary to support other individuals with mental health or substance use disorder. Your next opportunity to be certified through the Take Your Heart to Work® Curriculum is on June 11-15, 2018, from 8 a.m.– 5 p.m., at Partners Auditorium, 901 S. New Hope Road, Gastonia, NC.

To attend Partners’ Certified Peer Support Specialist Training, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have lived experiences in recovery from a significant mental health or substance use disorder
  • Have been in recovery for at least one year
  • Have at least a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Have completed a certified 16-20-hour wellness plan training (Recommended: WRAP® Training)

There is no cost to attend this training. All individuals interested in participating in this training are required to submit an application to Partners for consideration. The application and additional information regarding attending this training can be found online.

The Roaring Twenties: The Arc’s 10th Annual Benefit Gala

You are invited to spend “an evening in the stacks,” a benefit to help our citizens with intellectual disabilities, on Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 6-11 p.m., at the Gastonia Conference Center, 145 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Gastonia, NC. To purchase tickets, contact The Arc at 704-861-1036 or

Behavioral Health Focus is published on the first and third Tuesday of each month and is intended to be a source of information for those working or interacting with behavioral health care in Burke, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Surry and Yadkin Counties. If you would like to contribute, contact Jeff Brucato at 704-884-2564 or Items should be submitted by Wednesday at 3 p.m. for the next week’s issue.

Volume 3 – Issue 19
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