Media Advisories

Tennessee Teenagers Join National Drug Facts Week

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | 03:45 pm

NASHVILLE –The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) is encouraging teenagers, educators and parents across the state to participate in National Drug Facts Week Monday, January 26 through Sunday, February 1. It’s an opportunity for teenagers to promote and participate in activities to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse.


“Many of our teenagers in Tennessee experiment with drugs and aren’t aware of the risks,” said E. Douglas Varney, TDMHSAS Commissioner. “About a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illicit drug sometime in the past year, and more than ten percent report using a narcotic painkiller. National Drug Facts Week is an opportunity for them to learn what science has taught us about drug abuse and addiction.”

Olgiati Bridge over Tennessee River in Chattanooga to Undergo Survey This Sunday, January 11, 2015

Friday, January 09, 2015 | 09:12 am

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Transportation survey crews will conduct an in depth survey of the Olgiati Bridge on U.S. 27 over the Tennessee River in Chattanooga on Sunday, January 11, 2015 beginning at 6:00 a.m. EST and ending by 6:00 p.m. EST.  During the survey, the bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction. 

Additionally, the 4th Street entrance ramp to U.S. 27 North will be closed to traffic as the survey is performed.  A detour will be posted. 

The crews will be gathering detailed information about the bridge in anticipation of a future widening project.  TDOT Operations personnel will assist with traffic control.

Help for Tennesseeans Coping With Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 | 02:11 pm

NASHVILLE –Based on national estimates, thousands of Tennesseans struggle through the cold and dreary winter season with feelings of prolonged sadness. For an estimated 4 to 6 percent of the population, winter brings about periods of fatigue and in some cases anxiety known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or (SAD).

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) recognizes SAD as a mood disorder that follows a pattern related to seasonal variations in sunlight.

“We all go through periods of feeling down,” said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner TDMHSAS. “SAD is something more serious than the occasional blues and can lead some people into periods of deep depression due in part to fewer hours of daylight in the winter months.”

Tennessee's Recovery Courts to Expand

Monday, December 15, 2014 | 01:21 pm

NASHVILLE – Hundreds more Tennesseans caught in a cycle of drug use and crime will have the chance to pursue treatment over prison with the help of new federal grant funds coming to the state.


The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) with support from the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDC) has been awarded nearly $1 million to expand the Morgan County Statewide Recovery Court and 28 participating county courts across the state.


The $1 million federal grant will support 60 individuals a year, allowing for a total of 180 men to receive services during the 3-year grant cycle. The referrals to the program will come primarily from felony recovery courts in Tennessee seeking more intensive services for their male defendants.

Traffic Shift Planned for Old Hickory Boulevard over Cumberland River

Monday, December 08, 2014 | 10:32 am

Lanes Reduced from Four to Two

OLD HICKORY, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Transportation contract crews will shift traffic on State Route 45 (Old Hickory Boulevard) over the Cumberland River in Davidson County for bridge repair. The repair project involves two adjacent truss-style bridges which connect Old Hickory to Madison. Once the shift is in place, traffic will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes until November 2015.

Truck Restrictions on “The Dragon” in Blount County; Limits for commercial vehicles longer than 30 feet on US 129 (SR 115)

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 | 10:45 am

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Following the completion of an operational and safety review, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has determined that vehicles over 30 feet in length will no longer be allowed to utilize a mountainous section of US 129 (SR 115) in Blount County, known as “The Dragon.”

Western Mental Health Institute Named Top Performer for Outstanding Quality and Service

Monday, December 01, 2014 | 02:11 pm

NASHVILLE – Western Mental Health Institute in Bolivar, Tennessee has been named a “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” by The Joint Commission, the leading accrediting body for health care organizations in the United States. The recognition is based on the staff’s ability to achieve excellence in clinical practices that improve the quality of behavioral health services offered to patients.


“It’s with great pride that I extend congratulations and thanks to our dedicated professionals at Western Mental Health Institute for their commitment to excellence,” said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). “It’s reassuring to know that our patients and their loved ones can count on us to provide the very best in personalized behavioral health diagnosis and treatment.”

Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute Named Top Performer for Outstanding Quality and Service

Monday, December 01, 2014 | 02:05 pm

NASHVILLE – Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute in Nashville has been named a “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” by The Joint Commission, the leading accrediting body for health care organizations in the United States. The recognition is based on the staff’s ability to achieve excellence in clinical practices that improve the quality of behavioral health services offered to patients.


“It’s no surprise that the professionals at Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute would be recognized for their commitment to excellence,” said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). “We are working very hard to ensure the best care at our state mental health institutes, and the latest findings by The Joint Commission demonstrate that fact."