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DHHS Plans To Fix Mental Health System

Armen Hareyan's picture

NC DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton announced a plan to fix the state's mental health system, in particular its psychiatric hospitals.

"As you know, Gov. Easley gave me clear marching orders back in September - fix the state's public mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services system," Benton said. "In the short time I have been here as secretary, I have noticed too often people were 'talking past each other' not 'to each other.' I am going to change that."

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"Every year, 25,000 people are served through our 14 state facilities. We owe those folks and their families the best possible service," he added. "Every dollar wasted is cheating the folks who count on us and the taxpayers."

As part of the plan, Benton is moving the state-operated services section out of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services to report directly to him. This section is responsible for day-to-day direction of all 14 of the states' public mental health facilities.

Other changes include: