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Experts discuss mental health across southeast Louisiana

Experts discuss mental health across southeast Louisiana
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Hot Seat: Tulane experts discuss mental health awareness across southeast Louisiana



Well, good evening and welcome to the WDSU Hot seat I morgen Lantus. Tonight we’re talking mental health across southeast Louisiana amid so much going on. We just passed the anniversaries of IDa and Katrina crime is on the rise. We’re still in *** pandemic and the nation is dealing with almost unprecedented inflation. All of this can be stressful, right? Well, here is Dr Ashley Wiese and victor ana ha from Tulane University Medical Center. So let’s start this conversation just talking about basic mental health, right? This is something we all deal with. What can people do if they feel like they’re maybe reaching that breaking point. So I think the first thing and this has been the message from so many um patients uh in our lives is to have the courage just to say that there’s *** problem and admit that um maybe they need some help, but then taking the next step to trust, to actually talk to someone um that’s probably outside of your family or friend circle, like someone that can be objective and someone that can really understand the person as an individual and um and recognize that it might just be more than just occasional sadness. You know, it might be depression and to help somebody uh you know, have the courage to talk about things. Yes, I think it’s important that people realize we all have our own breaking points. Um you know, idol was *** breaking point for others. Covid was *** significant breaking point for others. So we have anxiety, We have PTSD We have some trauma and sometimes we just need to recognize that Everybody goes through it and the first thing we can do is talk about it and feel and that breaks the stigma. And the shame associated with having something going on in our lives. Let’s talk specifically about psychosis. It impacts three out of 10, 3 out of every 100 people I should say. But it’s not really talked about. So first what is it and then what you know how big of an issue is this where we are? Okay so psychosis affects people across the planet? Um It’s not *** symptom that specifically to any region or country. Um psychosis is *** symptom so it’s *** symptom of typically an emerging severe mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Um psychosis is experienced as *** misinterpretation of reality. So I might miss here things miss see things or begin to believe that things are happening um That might not actually be happening for everyone else around us. Um I mean some examples that are common are hallucinations. So hearing voices. Um but you can have hallucinations that are visual, you can have hallucinations that are in all of the different sensory domains. Um And it usually it usually is happening as um as kind of an emergency. Um And people are often experiencing psychosis for *** year before they ever reach out for help because it often is something very odd or unusual to talk about. You know friends will say, hey, I’m feeling sad, but it’s *** little bit more awkward and uncomfortable to be like, hey, I’m hearing voices, Did you hear that? Um so people will isolate. So we are part of the early psychosis intervention clinic here in New Orleans. It’s epic nola for short. So we specialize in the first episode of psychosis uh because through research, we know that the earlier the intervention the better and so we provide very specific care for those first experiencing psychosis. Um, and we provide medication management therapy, family support, peer support, group socialization, wellness sort of everything to get someone back on track. But there’s *** stigma, I mean, how do we, you know, get folks to feel comfortable taking that next step reaching out for help because I’m sure it’s easy to think, Boy, am I crazy? I mean, what’s going on? Well, the stigma has been around for *** while, but now it’s kind of kind of slowly being broken and people are being more open and receptive to talking about what’s going on. Um, sometimes when people are experiencing psychosis, they might not have the hallucinations, but they might have this weird thoughts or um, we’re kind of thinking delusional thoughts, some sense of paranoia and I might think that something is wrong with them, but we again, we all have moments where we think something might not be right with myself. So I’m seeing that in identifying and talking about it is the first process, the first step of overcoming that problem and then long term breaking the stigma associated with mental health in the community that the guy that I see outside screaming on the corner, you know, that he’s not crazy, that he really might have *** real significant medical problem, mental health problem that needs to be addressed and again, something that can be addressed I think is so important. Let’s talk about young people because I feel like our young people nowadays, so impacted by mental, you know, there’s *** lot going on in the world around them. What would you specifically say to young people dealing with? Perhaps some of these issues? Well, I think one thing that the general public doesn’t realize is that um, most, if not all of the severe mental illnesses begin in teenagers and young adults, so the most common ages for Um the most common age of having your first episode of psychosis is between 16 and 25. So like Victor was saying the stigma associated with schizophrenia and that is somebody homeless talking to themselves. Like, no, this is an illness that starts and teenagers and young adults, it’s not their fault, there’s *** big genetic component. Um, and it starts there and historically people with schizophrenia with psychosis didn’t get very good treatment. Um, *** lot of people were institutionalized and so we’re sort of in this whole new way of seeing these severe illnesses as actually very treatable. Um, and you know, so the, so young people need to know that while stress of being *** teenager stress of life transitions is all, it’s like all normal. And part of all of us that in fact, you can have your first major depressive episode, you can have your first, you know, panic attack or anxiety, but you also can first have psychotic symptoms and it’s not unusual. So all of our patients are between 16 and 30, so that’s what we do. I mean, even some younger. Um, but it’s just now sort of this call to action of recognizing that we can talk about unusual things and we don’t find it unusual. You know, we do this on *** daily basis. I tell everybody, like, there’s nothing that you could tell me. That’s that I’m gonna think is weird, but that’s wonderful. That goes towards breaking down that stigma we were talking about and with the young adults and the teenagers, you know, when they start having those first symptoms, it’s really important that they learn how to treat it the appropriate way. *** lot of young adults, *** lot of teenagers are self medicate. Um, you know, they’ll use substances and sometimes those things can compound and make the symptoms even worse. So we wanted to show them the appropriate way of managing those symptoms, medication therapy, getting the right kind of support and creating an atmosphere where they can really grow and thrive well before we let you all go, we do have *** website that we want to highlight you all have calm nola dot org. You also have an upcoming event. How can folks get involved with that? *** little bit about calm? It stands for clear answers to Louisiana, mental health. So like I was saying earlier the earlier the detection of psychosis, the earlier the treatment the better the outcomes. And this is something that’s happening for the first time in people that usually are pretty healthy. So they probably have never talked to *** psychiatrist or *** therapist before. So what we have to do in order to reach people early is get out in the community and talk about psychosis, make people aware of psychosis what it is and what it’s not. Um so that people may be friends and families will recognize this and their young person and they might not take them, they might be able to take them to the right place because they need to land in *** program like ours. So, calm is our public health early detection campaign that runs sort of alongside our clinical program and efforts to reduce stigma and increase awareness. Um, all for early detection. So we are having um, we have *** lot of support coming from the state right now to expand calm across the state to expand our clinics across the state. Um and so we decided to have *** big awareness event. Um It’s called in my mind um it’s an event to explore psychosis. We have many people there with lived experience of psychosis that are gonna be showing their creativity like live painting, doing, spoken word all in efforts to help educate the people that attend and show them how. It’s not only about meds, it’s not only about therapy, it’s also about getting in touch with their creativity and their um strengths and what they their activities that they do that makes them feel good and and showing how that’s critical to recovery. So we have many artists participating with lived experience. We also have many community artists that are donating their work to us. We have some music and to really awesome musical acts coming. Uh it’s *** Capulet which of course is amazing food, amazing drinks. Um So it should be *** night of *** lot of uh inspiration. I mean it sounds like it’s gonna be *** great event and *** really great cause we appreciate both of you joining us in the WDSU Studio and that’s all the time. We have I’m morgen lettuce, you can rewatch this hot seat on our website. That’s WDSU Dot com starting tomorrow morning

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Hot Seat: Tulane experts discuss mental health awareness across southeast Louisiana

Tulane Medical Center experts, Ashley Weiss and Victor Onoahu, sit down with WDSU anchor Morgan Lentes to discuss psychosis awareness on Sept. 11.

Tulane Medical Center experts, Ashley Weiss and Victor Onoahu, sit down with WDSU anchor Morgan Lentes to discuss psychosis awareness on Sept. 11.

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