An editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer gets it right in calling on Governor-elect McCrory and state legislative leaders to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to the state’s failing mental health system.

“Pat McCrory, the incoming governor and a Republican, sounds the right note when he says, ‘Frankly, we have a broken mental health system in our nation and in our state. We’ve got to do some serious work to close those deficiencies.’ He’s right. Now the challenge for McCrory is to push his GOP majorities in the state House and Senate, where the inclination is to cut budgets in all directions, to invest in better mental health care, with something of a focus on that young adult group….

The new governor and the General Assembly need to face the funding shortage that lawmakers helped create and recognize that a state without adequate care for the mentally ill hurts patients and the state itself. Read More


Craig Jarvis at Under the Dome has an encouraging story on today’s meeting of a special “blue ribbon” commission. The commission is dealing with the issue (highlighted here at NC Policy Watch on multiple occasions) in which the state has been unlawfully warehousing people with mental illness in adult care homes. 

“The 32-member Blue Ribbon Commission on Transitions to Community Living met for the first time and spent the day at the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh getting up to speed on several pressing issues.

The state is working toward that goal in an agreement with the federal Department of Justice in order to avoid being sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A federal investigation alleged that the state wrongly confined thousands of people in adult care homes and institutions. Read More


North Carolina has fouled up yet another opportunity for significant progress in how it treats and cares for people with mental illness. That is the conclusion drawn by the experts and advocates Disability Rights NC this morning in response to an announcement that the state has failed to reach a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice with respect to a “letter of findings” issued by the feds last July.

As is stated in the press release issued by DRNC and reproduced below, the Perdue administration has, sadly, opted for several more years of glacial-paced “progress” on the issue of warehousing mentally ill people in “rest homes” rather than biting the bullet and entering into a bona fide and enforceable agreement as has been done in other states. All in all, a sad day for the cause:


Vicki Smith, Executive Director
Disability Rights North Carolina

State Avoids Enforcement in Its Failure to Reach Agreement with the USDOJ Regarding Its Legal Obligation to North Carolinians with Mental Illness Read More


If you envision the Dix property in downtown Raleigh as a 306-acre park, there are small signs that a vision which began as early as 2003, when the General Assembly decided to move Dorothea Dix Hospital to Butner, could become reality.

Dorothea Dix Property and Raleigh Skyline

But to fulfill this grand dream, a powerful coalition is needed to propose a plan to address the needs of mental health, conservation, Raleigh city officials and state government as well as to drive and focus the effort.

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