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North Carolina Gets D for Mental Health Care

Armen Hareyan's picture
NC Mental Health

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) issued a national report card today that gives North Carolina a D grade for its public mental health care system.

The report is a follow-up to a NAMI report published three years ago to measure the progress of states in achieving the goals of a presidential commission that called for transformation of the mental health care system - - which too often is fragmented, outmoded and inadequate.

In the previous report, North Carolina received a grade of D. This year it is one of 23 states that saw no change. The national average is D, remaining stagnant from three years ago. Six states received Bs. Six received Fs. No state got an A.
See www.nami.org/grades2009 for the full report.

“Years of bad policy decisions have left emergency rooms, the criminal justice system, and families to shoulder the burden of responding to people living with mental illness in crisis,” said Deby Dihoff, Executive Director of NAMI North Carolina. “Our grade reflects the chaos and disorganization in our state.”

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Dr. Jim Pitts, President of NAMI North Carolina added, “We must restore confidence and order to our system as promised by our Governor. We must be prudent with tax dollars by investing in cost effective, proven services that save lives and money. Our proposed Centers of Excellence will help ensure that the right service mix is available. We must protect what works, and avoid cuts at this crucial time.”

Deby Dihoff also mentioned that “we must transform our system in NC to be one that is comprehensive, built on solid evidence, focused on wellness and recovery, and centered on people living with mental illnesses and their families.”

The report card is based on 65 criteria, including access to medication, housing, family education and support to National Guard members. It includes policy recommendations for federal and state leaders. State governments provided most of the information on which the grades are based.

NAMI NC is a grassroots non-profit organization providing support, education and advocacy for people living with mental illnesses and their families and friends. We are governed by a Board of Directors elected by membership and are 501(c)(3) accredited. NAMI NC is a part of NAMI which has over 210,000 members in 1,200 affiliates across the country.

To learn more about North Carolina Mental Health please visit to www.naminc.org