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CoastLine: Mental Health Struggles Are Universal

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Mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression, low self-worth, and Imposter Syndrome, are extremely common. Some professionals say those issues are universal.

Access to mental health resources is one of six major unmet needs in the Cape Fear region.  That’s according to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s 2016 Community Needs Assessment Survey, which examines New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties.  Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in southeastern North Carolina – despite the fact that it’s not in the top 10 statewide.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one American in five lives with a mental health condition; one in 25 has a serious mental illness. The scope of the issue in the tri-county region, according to the survey, is apparent.  It wasn’t uncommon less than two years ago for NHRMC to hold 20 to 40 patients – and sometimes more – who were waiting for placement in a facility.

But what does this mean?  Are more people suffering from mental illness than ever?  Are more being diagnosed?  Are our views of what it means to be mentally healthy evolving?  We’re going to look at those questions today during Mental Health Awareness Month – as well as whether the modern world exacerbates some mental health issues.  We’ll also explore the factors that influence mental health, some metacognitive tools, and whether people can actually get better. 


Susan Lewis, Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing as a staff psychotherapist at the Community Counseling Center. She specializes in counseling families experiencing grief, depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, and issues of faith and spirituality.

Rebecca Rampe, Ph.D., is both a Clinical Psychologist and the Outreach Coordinator for Counseling Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  Some of her areas of interest include: self-esteem, relationships, family of origin concerns, identity development, and self-soothing behaviors and self-management.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.
Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR