NCPA Blog: What's On Our Mind
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April 20, 2018  Political Responses to Shootings Miss Mark: Health Providers

By MARY ANNE PAZANOWSKI

  • Health-care providers should help try to change narrative that mental illness causes gun violence
  • Suicide is real issue because more people use guns to commit suicide than violence against others
  • Mental health-care professionals should press lawmakers to consider adopting evidence-based restrictions

Mental health-care providers and gun violence experts want people to know something politicians won’t tell them: Gun violence toward others is rarely attributable to mental illness.

Blaming tragic events like the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school on the shooter’s mental incapacity is “nothing short of absurd,” Ron Honberg, senior policy adviser at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Washington, told Bloomberg Law. It’s a “red herring,” Dr. Liza H. Gold, clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, added.

Most people who use guns to commit violence against others haven’t been diagnosed as mentally ill, never have sought mental health treatment, and, in fact, may not be mentally ill, they said. Past violent behavior involving gun use, not mental illness, is a better indicator of future gun violence.

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March 6, 2018  Eastpointe Names Hosseini as New Medical Director

Via The Wilson Times

Eastpointe, the behavioral health care system serving Wilson County, has named physician, professor and author Dr. Sid M. Hosseini [NCPA Member] its medical director.

Hosseini, who holds doctor of osteopathic medicine and Ph.D degrees, is an assistant professor and preceptor at Campbell University’s medical school and previously worked as an outpatient and inpatient psychiatrist at Southeastern Regional Mental Health in Lumberton.

Eastpointe announced the medical director appointment in a Friday news release. Hosseini will begin his new position in mid-May.

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February 28, 2018  Behavioral Health Plan Still Needs Refining

By ROSE HOBAN

DHHS officials delivered a long-awaited strategic plan to lawmakers, but the document is only the first version of a roadmap for remaking North Carolina's mental health system.

Sometime in the coming two years, North Carolina’s Medicaid program will go from being the fee-for-service plan that it’s been for more than 50 years to being run by large managed care companies. And when that happens, the current mental health system is likely to see big changes.

That’s part of the reason the legislature ordered the state Department of Health and Human Services in 2016 to prepare a strategic plan for how the state’s mental health system will evolve and improve services.

This week, state health officials presented their draft plan to lawmakers.

“This is kind of a first step,” said Assistant Secretary for Health Policy Walker Wilson, who admitted the strategic plan is nowhere near done.

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