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Haywood County native Robert Guinn leads a fairly normal life these days. He has a good attitude, a fulfilling job, a good circle of friends and loves bragging on his 14-year-old daughter.

A major fundraising campaign is a significant undertaking for any nonprofit organization, but it’s especially difficult when an organization has to split its time between providing behavioral health services in seven western counties and trying to come up with enough funding to keep its programming.

Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint hospital, is doing its part to meet the growing mental health needs in the region by expanding its behavioral health unit for adults and geriatric patients.

Two years ago, David was a different person than he is today. At 14 years old, his moods rapidly bounced around from extreme feelings of anger to unbridled energy. He couldn’t concentrate at school and didn’t understand why he couldn’t control his emotions.

When Margo Capparelli, Ph.D., first began her career, she had little idea that it would develop such a strong focus on helping combat veterans that she would one day drop everything to found a retreat center serving them.

But that’s exactly what’s happened. Capparelli, 53, is founder of Equinox Ranch, located on 23 acres in Cullowhee that she hopes to get in shape to begin operations by late spring or early summer in 2018.

The shortcomings of America’s mental health system have once again been brought to the forefront as national news outlets report the shooters responsible for recent mass killings in Las Vegas and Texas were mentally ill.

SEE ALSO: Waynesville treatment center expands mental health services

Medical experts say there’s no real connection between individuals with mental illness and mass shootings, but the presumed link between the two reveals the real reason why the mental health system is in such dire straits — we still don’t understand enough about mental illness.

The Balsam Center in Waynesville will now be able to better meet the mental health and substance abuse needs of Haywood County residents following an extensive renovation and expansion.

By Kurt J. Volker • Contributing writer

In cooperation with the seven Veteran Services offices in the WNC region, the Macon County Veterans Services Office will host the fourth annual Veterans Stand Down from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Robert C. Carpenter Community Building, 1288 Georgia Road, in Franklin.

Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Health hospital, has completed a 17-bed expansion to its behavioral health wing on the sixth floor.

maconMacon County Emergency Management Services hopes to expand an existing health care model to better serve mental health patients in the county — and a grant from the Evergreen Foundation may help the department fund it.

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