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NC task force trying to address mental health, addiction problems

Posted September 15, 2015

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— A new state task force is charged with devising a plan for providing the most effective and efficient mental health and addiction services to those in need.

The Governor's Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use, which met for the first time Tuesday, includes more than two dozen representatives from every branch of state government and advocacy groups.

"To actually have the leadership of those folks there means that we can have really thoughful, intensive dialogue with the notion that good ideas can go straight to the person who can do something about it," said Jack Register, director of the North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and a task force member.

Gov. Pat McCrory said he hopes the task force will help solve problems instead of reacting to them or, in some cases, ignoring them. He wants recommendations by next May.

Gloria Harrison, whose husband is bipolar, said she has similar hopes for the effort. She said her husband's illness has gotten worse as he ages, and their neighbors now live in fear of him.

"They're basically afraid of him, and they don't really understand why. He's a very kind person unless he is manic," Harrison said. "I don't know what's going to happen to him if something happens to me."

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  • Melissa Noderer Sep 16, 2015
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    I hope the task force will visit Alliance Behavioral Health Care in Raleigh/Durham area; North Carolina Recovery Support Services; Wake Brook; TROSA in Durham to name just a few support services for substance abuse and mental health issues. Get down to the grass roots and in the trenches to find out what is needed to help those suffering from mental illness and/or SA. Medicaid would be a huge help--there are many suffering souls who are uninsured. ObamaCare is not available for the poorest of the poor. In addition, I ditto the comments made by H.D. Derrington and Margaret Anne.
    The world is paved with good intentions, that often lead to nowhere.

  • H.D. Derrington Sep 16, 2015
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    What's worse is that it does not have to be that way. Also, we need psychiatrists and psychologist who don't rush diagnoses and marginalize their patients lives. Those unfortunate patients end up with compounded problems that could shorten their lives and/ or seriously compromise their quality of life and ability to care for themselves. The whole mental health system needs an overhaul not just the insurance and legal sides.

    Additionally, psychiatrists need to be screened and monitored for criminal activity and the stress from dealing with mental health patients. Issues involving domestic violence and other socially inappropriate behaviors by these doctors need to be investigated properly. Patients are at their mercy since mental health patients are the most vulnerable and easily discredited during criminal investigations of doctor wrong doing.

    What is the background of these representatives? Are they empowered to make serious recommendations to NC Mental Health system?

  • Margaret Anne Sep 15, 2015
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    Task forces are great, if you get people in the trenches to be on it....instead of people that have no clue of what is going on... you do not have enough services available to help people with these issues. Especially, those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, these kids are becoming adults and are getting too much to handle at home.