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Features Health & Wellness

Where do family members turn when they are faced with the problems and heartaches that come from dealing with a mental illness in a loved one on a daily basis? The NAMI Family-to-Family program, a much acclaimed, free 12-session program for relatives and friends of individuals challenged by mental illness, will be offered in Franklin on Tuesdays, starting Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by NAMI Appalachian South, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, this course provides up-to-date information about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, panic disorder, anxiety and other mental illnesses. The course has the dual focus of education, and understanding the experience of living with mental illness. It encompasses such topics as how the brain and medications work, early signs of relapse, communications, local resources and self care.

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Parents advised to talk about the dangers

Macon County Schools administrators are advising parents and guardians to have a conversation with their children about "The Choking Game" or also known as "The Pass Out Game." Students in Macon County are participating in this dangerous practice. Parents have been notified and action is being taken through county schools. Families are encouraged to have the conversation.

“The Choking Game” – is a thrill-seeking activity that involves strangulation and often fainting in order to induce a temporary feeling of euphoria caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. Also called the “fainting game,” it involves cutting off circulation to the carotid artery with hands, objects or the subject simply holding his breath. It may occur alone or in groups. The hashtags of #thechokinggame and #passoutchallenge have revived the social media trend.

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LifePoint Hospitals® and Duke University Health System have expanded their collaborative effort to create safe highly reliable care by entering into a national quality agreement. This collaboration will allow these two leading healthcare organizations to expand upon the work in which they have been engaged for several years to enhance patient safety and continually improve the quality of care across the nation. Through the new national quality affiliation, all LifePoint hospitals will be part of a program designed to focus their improvement efforts and transform their culture of safety.

Lifepoint hospitals in Western North Carolina include Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva, Swain County Hospital in Bryson City and Haywood Regional Medical Center in Waynesville.

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Summers spent poolside and sunny vacations during winter can do more than provide relaxation. Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays leaves behind lasting damage on the skin - including wrinkles, leathery or sagging skin and brown spots. In fact, more than 90 percent of these visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun. Though sun damage is cumulative, there are ways to repair, and even reverse the damage.

"Contrary to popular belief, the harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation can be almost immediate," said Skin Cancer Foundation Senior Vice President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD. "That's why practicing proper sun protection is so critical. You'll help prevent future damage and you may even reverse some of the damage that has already been done."

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