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Salem College intern making an impact

Abriana Vail has made quite an impression in Dobson this summer during her internship with the Surry County Office of Substance Abuse Recovery.

During her internship she has aided in the implementation of the state’s new Strengthening Systems for North Carolina Children (SYNC) program of which Surry County is the pilot county. She has also spent tireless hours helping the county co-author a primary prevention document for the All-Stars Prevention Group.

Vail will be a rising senior this fall at Salem College. She attended Surry Early College and graduated in 2020 with her Associate in Arts as well as Associate in Fine Arts along with her high school diploma with a GPA of 3.9.

She is attending Salem College on a full scholarship and is holding tightly onto another GPA of 3.9. Vail has hopes of attending Wake Forest University to obtain a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. The Early College again has sent a graduate into the world who is interested in using skills and knowledge gained to help their home community.

In her time with the substance abuse recovery office and in Community Outreach and Prevention she has worked closely with Charlotte Reeves, who coordinates the county’s community outreach. “Sometimes we neglect to honor our students who are working so hard and doing great things in their lives for our communities. I want to thank Abriana for all her hard work,” Reeves said.

Earlier this year Vail wrote the following piece entitled “It’s Time to Talk About Mental Health,” which follows below:

Mental health is a topic typically shrouded in darkness, with an ideology persisting since the dark ages. While mental health is now receiving a little more attention and acceptance, it still receives far less than it deserves. However, in light of the pandemic, mental health is now a frequent topic of discussion, as many individuals are struggling with their personal issues due to being forced to remain isolated indoors for over the past two years.

Now is the perfect time to talk about why mental health is so important and keep the conversation going. The state of our mental health can affect every aspect of our lives, from making decisions, managing stress, to maintaining relationships. We need to lose the stigma surrounding mental illness so that people can feel comfortable enough to come forward and get the help they need. Going to see a psychiatrist is no different than going to see your local doctor; taking medicine to manage symptoms of ADHD is no different than taking medication to manage high blood pressure. We cast a dark cloud over mental health as if it’s this forbidden topic that people should never speak of when it is just as important and valid as physical health.

When you feel that something is wrong with your physical health, you seek out the help of a doctor, so why should it be any different when it comes to your mental health?

Anyone who is experiencing problems with mental health and/or substance use, or has someone close to them who is, should contact Charlotte Reeves at or 336.366.9064.

For immediate help, call or text 988 the official Crisis Center Hotline for anyone experiencing a mental health, substance use, or suicide crisis.

Individuals can also contact the National Alliance on Mental Health at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email



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