Experts discuss mental health in southeast Louisiana

Hot Seat: Tulane Experts Discuss Mental Health Awareness in Southeast Louisiana



Well good evening and welcome to the WDSU Hot I morgen Lantus seat. Tonight we talk about mental health in Southeast Louisiana amidst so much. We just passed IDa birthdays and Katrina crime is on the rise. We are still in a *** pandemic and the nation is facing almost unprecedented inflation. All of this can be stressful, right? Well, this is Dr. Ashley Wiese and victor ana ha from Tulane University Medical Center. So let’s start this conversation by just talking about basic sanity, shall we? It’s something we all face. What can people do if they feel like they’re reaching that breaking point. So I think the number one thing and that’s been the message from so many uh patients in our lives is to have the courage to say there’s a problem *** and admit that uh maybe that they need help, but then take the next step towards trust, to talk to someone who is probably outside of your family or circle of friends, as someone who can be objective and someone who can really understand the person as an individual and uh and recognize that it could be more than occasional sadness. You know, it can be depression and to help someone uh you know, have the courage to talk about things. Yes, I think it’s important for people to realize that we all have our own breaking points. Uh, you know, Idol was a breaking point for others. Covid was *** a big breaking point for others. So we have anxiety, we have PTSD, we have trauma and sometimes we just need to recognize that everyone is going through it and the first thing we can do is talk about it and feel and that breaks Stigma. And the shame associated with the fact that something is happening in our lives. Let’s talk specifically about psychosis. It affects three out of 10 people, 3 out of 100 people I should say. But we don’t really talk about it. So first, what is it and then, what do you know about the extent of the problem where we are? Okay, psychosis affects people across the planet? Um, this is not a region or country specific symptom. Uh, psychosis is a *** symptom, so it’s a *** symptom of a serious emerging mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. A psychosis is experienced as a *** misinterpretation of reality. So I might miss things here miss seeing things or starting to believe things are happening uh That might not be happening for everyone around us. Um, I mean some common examples are hallucinations. So hear voices. Um, but you can have visual hallucinations, you can have hallucinations in all the different sensory areas. Um And usually it usually happens as some kind of emergency. Um And people often suffer from psychosis for *** years before seeking help because it’s often something very strange or unusual to talk about. You know, friends will say, hey, I feel sad, but it’s a little more awkward and uncomfortable to be like, hey, I hear voices, did you hear that? Um so people are going to isolate themselves. 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 thanks to research, we know that the earlier the intervention, the better, and therefore we provide very specific care for the first to experience psychosis. Uh, and we provide medication management therapy, family support, peer support, group socialization, kind of wellness to get someone back on track. But there’s *** the stigma, I mean, how do we, you know, make people feel comfortable taking the next step to asking for help because I am sure it is easy to think, am I crazy? I mean, what’s going on? Well, the stigma has been there for *** a while, but now it’s kind of slowly being broken down and people are more open and receptive to talking about what’s going on. Uh, sometimes when people have psychosis they might not have hallucinations but they can have these weird thoughts or uh we kind of have delusional thoughts and some sense of paranoia and I might think something is wrong with them, but then again, we all have times when we think something is wrong with me. So I see that identifying and talking about it is the first process, the first step to overcoming this issue and then breaking the long-term stigma associated with mental health in the community that the guy I see outside yelling on the corner from the street, you know, he’s not crazy, he really could have a significant medical issue, a mental health issue that needs to be addressed and again, something that can be addressed, I think that is so important. Let’s talk about young people because I feel like our young people today, so touched by the mind, you know, there’s a lot going on in the world around them. What would you say specifically to the young people who deal with it? Maybe some of these issues? Well I think one thing that the general public doesn’t realize is that uh, most if not all serious mental illnesses start in teens and young adults so the most common ages for Um l he most common age for having your first episode of psychosis is between 16 and 25 years old. So, as Victor was saying, the stigma associated with schizophrenia and it’s someone who is homeless talking to themselves. Like, no, it’s a disease that starts and teenagers and young adults, it’s not their fault, there’s a big genetic component. Um, and it starts there and historically, people with schizophrenia with psychosis haven’t received very good treatment. Um, *** a lot of people have been institutionalized and so we’re kind of in this whole new way of seeing these serious illnesses as actually being very treatable. Um, and you know, so the, so young people need to know that even though the stress of being a teenage ***, the stress of life transitions is everything, it’s like everything is normal. And part of all of us that actually you can have your first major depressive episode, you can have your first, you know, panic attack or anxiety attack, but you can also have psychotic symptoms first and that’s not is not unusual. So all of our patients are between 16 and 30 years old, so that’s what we do. I mean, even some younger ones. Um, but this is just now kind of a call to action to recognize that we can talk about unusual things and we don’t find it unusual. You know, we do this *** every day. I tell everybody, like, there’s nothing you can tell me. That’s what I’m going to find weird, but it’s wonderful. It helps remove the stigma that we were talking about and with young adults and teenagers, you know, when they start having those early symptoms, it’s really important that they learn how to treat it in the appropriate way. *** many young adults, *** many teenagers are self-medicating. Uh, you know, they’ll use substances and sometimes those things can make symptoms worse and worse. So we wanted to show them the proper way to deal with these symptoms, drug therapy, get the right kind of support, and create an atmosphere where they can really grow and thrive long before we let you all go, we have a website* ** which we want to point out you all have calm nola dot org. You also have an upcoming event. How can people get involved in this? *** little calm? It represents clear answers to Louisiana mental health. So, as I said earlier, the earlier the detection of psychosis, the earlier the treatment, the better the results. And it’s something that’s happening for the first time in people who are generally in fairly good health. So they’ve probably never spoken to a *** psychiatrist or *** therapist before. So what we need to do to reach people early is get out in the community and talk about psychosis, make people aware of what psychosis is and what it isn’t . Uh for people to be friends and for families to recognize it and their young and they might not take them they might be able to take them to the right place because they need to land in a *** program like ours. So calm is our public health early detection campaign that kind of runs parallel to our clinical program and our efforts to reduce stigma and increase awareness. Um, all for early detection. So we have uh, we have *** a lot of support from the state right now to spread the calm statewide to expand our clinics across the state. Um and so we decided to organize a *** big awareness event. Hum it’s called in my mind hum it’s an event to explore psychosis. We have many people out there with lived experience of psychosis who are going to show off their creativity like live painting, creating, speaking, all to help educate the people who attend and their show how. It’s not just about medication, it’s not just about therapy, it’s also about getting in touch with their creativity and their strengths and what they do with their activities that makes them feel well and to show how essential it is to recovery. So we have many artists who participate with a lived experience. We also have many artists in the community who donate their work to us. We have some really awesome music and musical acts coming up. Uh it’s *** Capulet which of course is amazing food, amazing drinks. Um So that should be *** night of *** a lot of inspiration. I mean, it looks like it’s going to be a *** great event and *** really awesome because we appreciate you two joining us in the WDSU studio and it’s all the time. We have I’m morgen lettuce, you can review this hot seat on our website. It’s WDSU Dot com starting tomorrow morning

Hot Seat: Tulane Experts Discuss Mental Health Awareness in Southeast Louisiana

Tulane Medical Center experts Ashley Weiss and Victor Onoahu sit down with WDSU anchor Morgan Lentes to discuss 9/11 psychosis awareness.

Tulane Medical Center experts Ashley Weiss and Victor Onoahu sit down with WDSU anchor Morgan Lentes to discuss 9/11 psychosis awareness.

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