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"Between a stimulus and response, there is a ​space. 

In that space​; is our power to choose our response. 

In our response; lie our growth and our freedom."

- Victor E. Frankl​

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We are Board-Certified to treat patients  of all Ages.

We therefore diagnose and treat all Neuro-Psychiatric illnesses across the life span .

We are also a Graduate Medical Education Facility & Teaching Location for several Affiliated Universities, Medical Schools and Graduate Education Programs in Medicine and Nursing; within the Medical Specialty of Psychiatry.  

You are welcome to a world of clinical  excellence.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

Today (May 1, 2019) is the first day of Mental Health Awareness Month! But as AACAP knows, those living with mental illnesses live with the symptoms, effects, and stigma every day. Therefore, we encourage you to educate yourself on mental health, check in on your friends and family, and have a compassionate attitude toward those living with mental illness.

The St. Lazarus Weekly News.

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“It started to feel weird that I wasn’t just saying, ‘Hey, I’m relating to this personally,” said Sen. Tina Smith, about going public about her own experience while pursuing mental health legislation.

Sen. Tina Smith reveals her own past depression in push for mental health funding

Senator pushing legislation to get mental health services in schools.

By Patrick Condon 

Star Tribune MAY 12, 2019 — 9:11PM

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tina Smith was in her late 30s, a successful career woman and the mother of two young boys, when depression hit.

“It just sort of feels like all the colors in the world start to fade out,” Smith said. “The things that gave you a lot of joy, there’s nothing there anymore.”

The Minnesota Democrat, now 61, is talking publicly for the first time about her own bouts with depression as she pushes for more federal spending on mental health programs. First as a teenager and again as an adult, Smith said, she battled to control a condition that challenged her view of herself as “a happy, cheerful person.”

The experience informs Smith’s focus on expanding treatment options for young people. She wants Congress to approve $1 billion in grants over five years for school districts to partner with local treatment organizations to deliver mental health services directly in school settings.

“I want people to know: At every point in my life that I needed help, it was right there,” Smith said. “And understanding that isn’t the case for everyone is just — well, I know what a difference it made for me.”

With no Republican coauthors yet in a GOP-controlled Senate, Smith’s measure faces an uncertain future. But she believes that greater public understanding — helped by stories like hers — could serve to build political momentum.


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U.S. Senator Tina Smith spoke at a pro-DACA news conference at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Hennepin County Government Center Sunday January 7, 2018 in Minneapolis.

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Some recent studies have found ominous trends about the mental health of young people. A 2016 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that the prevalence of depression in adolescents and young adults has increased in recent years. The study found that the percentage of adolescents aged 12-17 who experienced at least one major depressive episode a year rose from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014. The rates of increase are particularly high among girls and young women.

“To be honest, nobody is totally sure why. But you talk to anyone working with youth, they see it,” said Sue Abderholden, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

A growing number of studies have linked the pervasiveness of social media and ready access to technology as a driving factor. Some in the mental health field also think that a lessening stigma around mental illness has led to more self-reporting. Whatever the reasons, mental health and education professionals alike see a need to fight the rise where it makes the most sense.

“Kids spend a huge part of their life in schools,” Abderholden said.

The alarming increase in school shootings in recent years has brought new attention to mental health treatment for young people. But Smith said she’s hesitant to make that link.

“I’m wary when legislators say the solution to school shootings is mental health care, because it suggests that people who are mentally ill are violent, and that’s just not true,” she said.

Minnesota has been a national leader in establishing programs that get mental health treatment directly into schools. The Minnesota School-Based Health Alliance is affiliated with 22 school clinics that provide mental health care throughout Minnesota, mostly in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Almost all the rest are in other metro-area school districts, with the sole exception of a school clinic in Rochester.

Smith’s proposal would provide money to spread the concept more widely.

Many school districts in Minnesota and nationwide have programs to help students get mental health treatment, often by partnering with clinics in their communities. But Abderholden said that often causes insurance complications for families, and even the simple logistics of getting to appointments outside school can be an issue, especially in small towns and rural areas.

“If we believe that a student needs additional support, then we’ll make a referral to an outside mental health agency,” said Emily Dierling, an elementary and intermediate school counselor in Stewartville. The closest place for her students to get those services is in Rochester. “If mom and dad both work or otherwise don’t have the ability to drive there twice a week, that can put a big strain on being able to receive the service,” she said.Being able to access the treatment directly at school “would make a lot of sense for a lot of families,” Dierling said.

Shawna Hedlund, president of the Minnesota School-Based Health Alliance and director of health access for Minnesota Community Care, said that over the past two years her group has seen a 15% increase in requests from students to see mental health providers.

“When children are in good health, they are better learners,” Hedlund said. “Whether that is addressing a toothache or diagnosing asthma or identifying a trauma they are dealing with, when we address the whole child and their well-being, then we are making them ready to learn.”

Hedlund said she believes that helping more students resolve mental health issues could be a way to reduce Minnesota’s persistent gap in educational achievement between white students and students of color.

At the moment, Smith has support for her proposal only from fellow Democrats; the Senate is controlled by Republicans. But she noted that expanding mental health resources, not only for students but for many demographic and professional groups, has been a priority for politicians from both parties.

Smith said she decided to go public about her own experience because, as she has engaged with the issue as a lawmaker and talked about it with more people, she felt she was leaving something important out of the conversation.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith wants ready access to mental health care for students.

“It started to feel weird that I wasn’t just saying, ‘Hey, I’m relating to this personally,’ ” she said.

Politicians have not always been able to talk so freely about their own mental health. In 1972, vice presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton dropped off George McGovern’s presidential ticket after it was revealed that

Eagleton had been hospitalized several times for depression.

Smith was a teenager and a new college student the first time depression hit her. She had some therapy sessions with an on-campus counselor and learned coping mechanisms.

It swung back hard about two decades later. Smith said she returned to therapy, and a diagnostic test indicated depression. 

She first resisted the diagnosis, she said, but ultimately went on anti-depressants for about two years. She hasn’t gone back on depression medication since, she said.

“I ask myself: What do I need to do to stay healthy? And I do that all the time,” Smith said. “And it’s stuff like meditation, making sure I get good exercise, all the things we know. With mental health, it’s not like there’s a box where you’re healthy and another box where you’ve got a mental illness. 

You try to stay at the healthy end of the continuum, and watch as you move, and I’ve been able to do that.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                By Patrick Condon 

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Marijuana's Effects On The Developing Brain

By JANE LINDHOLM & MATTHEW F. SMITH • MAY 2, 2019


Marijuana's Effects On The Developing Brain

By JANE LINDHOLM & MATTHEW F. SMITH • MAY 2, 2019

Doctors, psychiatrists and other health professionals say marijuana can be very damaging to young and developing brains and that they're seeing young people with increasingly negative effects from consuming the drug.

“There is now very convincing science that cannabis is just not good for developing brains” Dr. David Rettew told Vermont Edition.

Rettew directs pediatric psychiatry at UVM's Larner College of Medicine. He’s also the medical director for the Vermont Department of Mental Health’s Child, Adolescent and Family Division.

He says the most significant findings show an increased risk of developing psychotic symptoms.

“It’s been calculated that cannabis doubles or maybe triples the risk of developing a psychotic illness later in life," Rettew notes. "And that risk may be higher with the higher potency cannabis that’s being used now, and that the risk is even more elevated when use starts early and the use is more frequent.”

Some marijuana users experience psychotic episodes directly after using the drug and Rettew says they’re at the highest risk of developing long-term psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.

Rettew says he wants the public to have knowledge of the real impacts of marijuana use—regardless of the politics and policies around cannabis legalization.

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about what we know about cannabis and the developing brain.

Broadcast live on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Marijuana's Effects on the Developing Brain

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About 13 Million US Children are Living Below the Poverty Line

The Guardian

Chris McGreal

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) said in a new report that about 13 million American children are living in homes with incomes below the poverty line, depriving many of a decent education and proper nutrition, and putting them at risk of homelessness and violence. Two-thirds of those living in poverty are children of color.

Check out AACAP's Facts for Families: Diversity and Culture in Child Mental Health Care

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More Young People, Especially Girls, Are Attempting Suicide by Poisoning, Study Says

CNN

Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez

AACAP Members Barbara Robles-Ramamurthy, MD, and Gene Beresin, MD, are quoted in this article.

Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the Central Ohio Poison Center recorded the number of phone calls made to US poison centers between 2000 and 2018 for self-poisoning of children and young adults ages 10 to 24 that were believed to be suicide attempts.1.6 million intentional poisoning cases, of which 1.16 million (71%) occurred in girls and young women.

Check out AACAP's Suicide Resource Center.

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Black children are suffering higher rates of depression and anxiety. 

What’s going on?

Asks Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, PhD

The Inquirer

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The rates of anxiety, depression, and behavior disorders among black children doubled over the course of several decades, with prevalence rates among black Americans topping those of whites, found a recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology.


Previous research examining racial differences in rates of psychiatric disorders have typically found that black Americans show lower rates than whites, despite experiencing higher rates of social adversity and stressors.


The new study suggests that this may be changing for younger black Americans, at least with regard to psychiatric disorders that have their onset in childhood.


Check out AACAP's Facts for Families: Diversity and Culture in Child Mental Health Care


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Helping You Achieve Better Mental Health

St. Lazarus Behavioral Health PC. is a privately owned, CARF-accredited Specialist  Neuropsychiatry clinic located in Charlotte, North Carolina. At our  outpatient facility,  we  diagnose and manage  Psychiatric  (Psychological, Mental Health disorders )  in Children, Adolescents, and Adults, helping them cope and recover from their individual conditions.


Our practice comprises of clinicians who are Board-Certified in General Adult Psychiatry as well as in the Sub-specialty of Pediatric  (Child and Adolescent)  Psychiatry. We also have on our staff a Nationally Board-Certified Specialist in Addiction Medicine who is thoroughly trained in all current treatment modalities for substance use disorders. Our head Clinician also has his fourth medical board certification in the diagnosis  and treatment of Traumatic and Non-traumatic Brain Injuries; making St. Lazarus Behavioral Health one of the very few centers in the United States with Clinicians who are Board Certified in  General Adult Psychiatry,  (Pediatric) Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,   Addiction  Medicine   and Brain Injuries Medicine; all in one  treatment location.


St.  Lazarus  therefore provides  Psychiatry  services for patients  of all ages in  the Charlotte; North Carolina Region,  Gastonia  Region and  all the surrounding areas. Furthermore, our team  also conducts Telepsychiatry sessions to those who are in other states including Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia,  Louisiana, Georgia,  North  Carolina, New York and Hawaii.

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Nuestra Misión (For Our Spanish Speakers)

Nuestra misión es ayudar a los niños, adolescentes y sus familias quienes sufren de un stress causado por una enfermedad Psiquiátrica (mentaly de comportamiento). Estamos decididos a proveerle un cuidado de alta calidad y menor costo posible. St. Lazarus Behavioral Health Inc. esta abierto de lunes a viernes de 9am hasta las 5pm. Nos esforzamos por servir a nuestra comunidad al cuidar de nuestros clientes con integridad, respeto, honestidad, fidelidad y una actitud muy amigable y respetuosa. Nuestra oficina cuenta con un intérprete (inglés/español) si usted necesita este servicio.

Insurances Accepted

• Blue Cross Blue Shield

• United Behavioral

• Cigna

& Beacon Health.


 Aetna
                        • Secure Health
             • Tricare

                          • Medicare            

OUR  CLINICAL PRACTICE   LOCATIONS

  OUR CHARLOTTE OFFICE LOCATION :

THE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL PLAZA

8401 MEDICAL PLAZA DRIVE, SUITE 355 CHARLOTTE

NORTH CAROLINA 28262​

    PHONE 877 624 5802   

              FAX 704 251 0942             

OUR GASTONIA OFFICE LOCATION:

1O56   X RAY  DRIVE 

GASTONIA 

NORTH CAROLINA 28054

PHONE 877 624 5802   

FAX 704 251 0942



About Our Clinicians

Our head clinician, Dr. Samuel  Inimbom  Samuel,  is uniquely trained in the two major international systems of Psychiatry;  which are the World Health Organizations'  phenomenology based  ICD 10 British Psychiatry, and the Research based DSM  system of American  Psychiatry. 

 Dr. Samuel teaches and supervises other clinicians at St. Lazarus in the most current evidence-based treatment for all  Mental  health and Substance Use disorders  across the life span.


Dr. Samuel demonstrates a combination of the following credentials:

Eight Years of Post-M.D. Graduate Medical Education in Pediatric, Adult, Geriatric, Psychotherapy and Rehabilitation  Psychiatry that comprise:

Three years of PostMD - Graduate Medical Training in the Phenomenology-Based British and WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10 Psychiatry; and  Five years of  Post MD -Graduate Education in the Research-Based DSM System of American Psychiatry. 

Dr. Samuel  holds Four Neuro-Psychiatry Board Certifications by the  American Board of Medical Specialties: He is Board Certified in  the Medical Specialty of   Brain Injuries Medicine;  by the American Board of  Psychiatry & Neurology, and also Board Certified  in  the Specialty of  General (Adult) Psychiatry; by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology.   His other Board Certifications are in the Sub-Specialty of  Pediatric (Child & Adolescent) Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, and  a Sub-Specialty Board Certification in Addiction   Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.


Dr. Samuel also serves as Medical Director to  The Harmony Recovery  Substance Abuse Treatment  Center, and the Midwood Addiction Treatment Center  in Charlotte; North Carolina, and  Medical Director to  the Transcend Eating Disorders Center, Matthews; North Carolina.


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Dr.  Saeed  Aflatooni  MD  is a Holistic Psychiatrist at St.  Lazarus Behavioral  Health PC.

Dr. Aflatooni graduated  with an MD degree from the University of Tehran~Iran in June 1964. 

After completing his Neuropsychiatry Residency Training  at the University of  Tehran~Iran in 1969,  Dr. Aflatooni proceeded to  Boston University' s  Salem Hospital, Salem;  Massachusetts in 1972; where he did his Internship in internal Medicine; before attending  his ACGME approved Residency training in Psychiatry at the University  of Nebraska from July 1972 to  June 1976. 

Dr. Aflatooni  obtained his Board Certification in Psychiatry  by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1980. 

Dr. Aflatooni served as Medical director to the Mental Health Department at the Mercy Medical Center, Roseburg; Oregon from July 1979 to June 1995,  and also served as a Medical Director and Staff Psychiatrist to the Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton; Washington from July 2006 until October 2007. 

Dr. Aflatooni's  other past appointments include; Staff Psychiatrist at the VA medical Center in Salisbury; North Carolina from November 2007 to June 2014, and Staff Psychiatrist at the Family Preservation Services, Asheville; North Carolina.

Dr. Aflatooni practices Psychiatry with a holistic and eclectic approach, and also provides treatment to patients as an expert clinician in Biofeedback Treatment for Anxiety disorders , Panic disorders, Insomnia, Phobias, Hypertension, Migraine headaches,  PTSD and other stress-related conditions.             

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Dr. Nellie Idara Samuel JD, DNP, PMHNP-BC  is our Lead Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner at St. Lazarus Behavioral Health PC. 

She has practiced as a Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner with St. Lazarus Behavioral Health PC. since 2015.

Before her career in Clinical Psychiatry; Dr Nellie (as fondly referred to) practiced  as an Attorney with The Crown Prosecution Service in London; Great Britain;  and later as a New York City Attorney; after successfully completing the New York Bar Examinations and being  admitted into New York Bar in 2002. 

In her quest to become a Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry, Dr. Nellie would later attend the Columbus State University, Columbus; Georgia where she obtained a (BSN) Bachelors in Nursing, and subsequently the University of South Alabama, Mobile; AL where she obtained her MSN in Pediatric and Adult Mental Health; before becoming Board Certified as a Psychiatry  Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  

Dr. Nellie Samuel received her DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) degree  from the Grand Canyon University, Phoenix; Arizona in 2018 following her successful dissertation on the "Co-morbidity of Anxiety in Adult Depressive Disorders". 




To set up an appointment, please call us at 877-624-5802 or fax your referral to  478  474 6585 . You may also email your appointment requests to our HIPPA-compliant email address, at   [email protected]. or on our contact us page; on this website.

    "Being the best; takes independence in our choices; towards a lifetime of learning, sacrifice & humility". St. Lazarus.



"Is there anything about another human being that deserves respect or right of place? Or are they all; a waste of the creator's precious time and divine genius?  In which case; Iam the only one who deserves to be here, and who deserves to live in peace and self-respect. The  honest answers to these questions should heal my self-aggrandizing delusions, preserve a healthy sense of reality testing, guide my own behavior towards others, and above all; help me see the goodness in the six billion other temporary inhabitants of the earth; other than myself."   Samuel Inimbom Samuel MD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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