Seeing the light amid the darkness

There was once a young girl in Southern India who lived in a house with no electricity. A coiled water hose sat in a corner of the room where she slept. Each night when the sun went down, she convinced herself it was a snake.

Q&A With Helping Hands Of Haywood

Helping Hands of Haywood is a new nonprofit that is making a tremendous difference in the community by reaching out to help those most in need. For Mental Health Awareness Month, Director Nicole Kott shares more about the organization's mission and how experiencing homelessness impacts people's mental health.

Campaign against new Haywood jail continues

Citing limited drug rehabilitation options, a lack of mental health treatment facilities, an inefficient justice system and overwhelming public opposition, a number of residents have again asked the Haywood County Board of Commissioners to rethink the county’s proposed $16 million jail expansion. 

Strong start for SHARE Project

If the newly-formed SHARE Project’s May 16 drug awareness march was any indication, the group can look forward to strong community support as it attempts to influence both the perception of and legislative agenda surrounding the nation’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis. 

Funding coming for telepsychiatry in schools — if N.C. budget passes

conversation between Sen. Kevin Corbin, R-Franklin, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, D-Rocky Mount, seems to indicate that Cooper will likely abandon his hard stance on Medicaid expansion and pass a budget this year. 

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Dr. Diana Messer, a forensic anthropology professor at Western Carolina University, is working on groundbreaking research that could drastically improve the methods used to estimate the timeframe of a child’s injury, which is essential evidence needed to identify and prosecute child abuse cases.

The benefits of Community Response Teams

By Hannah Minick • Guest Columnist | To say that we are currently living in unprecedented times is an understatement, and it is absolutely true. If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me, it is that we are all connected and what affects one of us affects all of us. As we have learned, the time period we are in requires innovative and collaborative community solutions as we move forward together, through the multitude of issues and challenges we collectively face. I believe it is imperative for our community, Haywood County, to continue to proactively implement evidence-based community interventions.   

Self-care Tips for Stress Awareness Month

Chronic stress can cause depression, anxiety, insomnia headaches and other symptoms that affect our health. During Stress Awareness Month in April, HopeWay – an accredited nonprofit mental health residential and day treatment center for adults – is offering helpful tips to reduce and manage stress.

Compromise on new jail project urged

Bob Clark • Guest Columnist | The request to the Haywood County commissioners from the Sheriff’s Department for $15 million to expand the county jail helped create a great opportunity for the commissioners. That opportunity arose when a significant, broad-based and factual public response was made questioning whether some of that money wouldn’t be better spent to help people stay out of jail as well as out of our clogged court system.

Emerging from a difficult year of COVID-19

By Dr. J. Scott Hinkle • Guest Columnist | The COVID-19 crisis is winding down. This time last year we were thrust into panic, social distancing, masking, and hopelessness. Today, another crisis is revealed, namely mental health problems that will be felt for years after the pandemic is over. Many people are experiencing anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation.

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