STEP Toward Recovery: Burke Hosting Outreach Presentation

LeeAnn Dwire, 18, right, has participated in Burke’s STEP program for the past year. She is now working, recently obtained her GED and is preparing for college entrance exams.
By Nicole Bradford, Reporter, see the original story here.
Nacogdoches, TX (Daily Sentinel)
A year ago, LeeAnn Dwire might have seemed like a garden variety troubled teen.
Depressed and anxious, the teen often isolated herself. Worse, she began having hallucinations — hearing voices that were not there.
“I was in a bad place,” said Dwire, now 18 and holding down a job while preparing for the SAT. “My mom got scared for me and started Read More »

The Texas Mental Health Crisis

Texas Association of Counties produced this video to explain how communities across Texas are facing significant challenge providing services to their citizens with mental health needs.

Burke counselor uses life experiences to help children with mental illness

By Caleb Beames, Multi-Media Journalist, see the original KTRE story here.
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Everyday at Burke, employees help people who find themselves deep in depression and dealing with anxiety.
One of those is Callie Hunt. Hunt not only listens to her patients, she also understands what they are going through. Twelve years ago, Hunt was getting to graduate from Lufkin High School. Hunt was one of the popular students.
“I was very active,” Hunt said. I was in groups and I was on the dance team,” Hunt said. “I grew up in a really great home. I had a really great childhood.”
The student that also was working hard at trying to become Miss Texas looked happy outside but on the inside Read More »

Nacogdoches special needs teacher overcame extreme shyness, depression

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – At one time or another, even the most outgoing person has experienced some degree of shyness.
Fewer people are so shy it prevents them from functioning at all.
One Nacogdoches woman overcame her shyness and the depression it created following mental health counseling from Burke.
Violet Porter is tonight’s Survivor.

It’s difficult keeping up with Violet Porter, a certified teacher of elementary children.
“Oh I love it,” Violet said.
Violet barely comes up for breath while on her way to the classroom.
“Usually I work in this portable,” Violet said.
The Stephen F. Austin State University alum is winding up the school year working as a long-term substitute teacher for special needs kids.
“It’s like the best thing,” Violet said.
One would have a difficult time Read More »

Nacogdoches Woman Recovers Physically and Mentally from Car Wreck

Nacogdoches woman, Jodi Richardson, recently visited with KTRE about her physical, mental, and emotional recovery from a bad car wreck in July of 2015.  Since then, she has dealt with overcoming and managing depression, having her leg amputated, adapting to a prosthetic, and committing to hours of mental health and physical therapies. Check out her story on KTRE’s website, or watch the video below.

Jodi Richardson is back on the road to recovery, both physically and mentally.
The Nacogdoches woman was in a bad car wreck a year and a half ago. Nerve damage led to a leg amputation eight months ago. For Jodi, the horrific loss of a limb led to the discovery of a promising future.
“You just step in it,” Richardson Read More »

The Right Diagnosis Brings a New Start for Nacogdoches Woman

Tim Monzingo/The Daily SentinelTim Monzingo/The Daily Sentinel
Deborah Scroggins describes the last year as a roller coaster ride of emotions. “I feel like I’ve been squeezing the handles so hard that my whole body was numb,” she said.
Deborah has lived in Nacogdoches most of her life. She was working as a Certified Nurse Assistant when she began suffering from severe weakness and depression. It was a strange combination of physical and emotional symptoms. She was both sad and anxious and had trouble staying focused. But she also felt bad physically. She felt so weak and stiff it took a lot Read More »

Parents’ Journey Through Mental Illness

Published in the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel on May 16, 2016
News Editor’s note: The following feature is the second in a series highlighting May as mental health month. Names have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.
By Colin Rowan, Burke
Edward and Victoria have had difficult conversations in the last year, but none was more heartbreaking than when they talked about what they’d do if they found their daughter’s body.
“That’s a terrible thing to have to think about,” said Victoria. “But the situation had gotten very serious, and we truly believed she might kill herself.”
Jamie, then 15, had transformed from what her mother describes as a “normal, argumentative” teenager into a walking tornado. Everything seemed to spark an argument with her family.
“She Read More »

Woman Survives Bipolar, Suicidal Thoughts with Burke’s Help

Carolyn doesn’t mince words when explaining what Burke has meant to her. “Without Burke, I’d be dead.” She was tired, bitter and except for the elderly father she cared for, estranged from most of her family. For the better part of 10 years, she says, “my life was in shambles.”
Burke Counselor Cindy Carswell agrees, “she was as serious about suicide as anyone I’ve ever known. It seemed that nothing made her happy, but she’s become a poster child for not giving up. She’s become an incredible inspiration to me.”
Carolyn’s illness required a combination of medication and counseling. Both have been remarkably effective, but neither were quick fixes. Finding the right medication took some time, and Carolyn says many of her Read More »

Social Media and Mental Health

Does social media cause depression? Can it make an episode of depression harder to overcome?  A recent Medium article addresses this concern. The writer, Kati Krause reports deleting her Facebook app as “a panicked intervention by reason to prevent my out-of-control animal instinct from doing further harm to myself.”
Alternatively, could social media help you detect depression? If your feelings toward “friends” on Facebook are negative, your actual connections to Twitter followers are distant, or seeing the happiness and success of others decrease your feelings about yourself; this could be a warning sign to focus on self-care.
Krause emphasizes that “depression should be something we talk about more openly—everything else just feels ridiculous at this point. Ultimately I, like many other people, Read More »

Peer Specialists Explained

Our friends at Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at the University of Texas have posted a great animated video that explains the role that peer specialists can play for people managing a mental illness. If you’ve worked with a peer specialist, you know how helpful and comforting they can be when navigating your way through treatment options. Give the video a look, and send it to folks you think could use an introduction.