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NC Editiorial: Mental health reforms

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has commendably concentrated on mental health care and substance abuse with a task force focused on issues that have confused and challenged lawmakers for many years. The task force has ideas that seem sound — but it will have to persuade the General Assembly to act.

Consider: There is a priority for finding affordable housing for the mentally ill. For one, it’s clear that people who are suffering are, as McCrory has said, living in all sorts of places in many circumstances. Some are in prisons; some are in hospitals; some are homeless; some are living with their families in situations that strain everyone involved. The issue also is important because the U.S. Department of Justice had threatened to sue the state because there is a shortage of such housing.

Overall, the task force wants to present to the General Assembly a plan to coordinate mental health policies, particularly those in the health care and justice systems. This makes sense. Rick Brajer, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, rightly noted that oversight of mental health care and substance abuse is scattered: “It’s hard to describe it as a system. Because it’s not a system.”

For the complete article, please pick up a copy of The Daily Reflector. Current home delivery and electronic edition subscribers may log in to access this article at no charge. To become a subscriber, please click here or contact Customer Service at (252) 329-9505.

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