Morgan says state needs to overhaul mental healthcare system

Published February 1, 2024

By Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan, Democratic candidate for Governor, says that North Carolina needs a major adjustment of its mental healthcare services.  "Twelve people die every single day due to fentanyl drug overdoses. We are failing our fellow citizens. Our mental healthcare system is broken. It is time to have a complete overhaul of our mental healthcare delivery system,” said Mr. Morgan, a former NC Supreme Court Justice.

“When you talk with our first responders, they’ll tell you about the complete breakdown in mental healthcare that they see and deal with on a daily basis.  The local medical entities don’t function efficiently.  Patients can’t get access to community-based drug rehabilitation programs.  The system is not working and is not serving the critical needs our citizens are facing,” said Mr. Morgan.

“The resources are not reaching the patients.  They are tied up in the bureaucracy and not getting to the communities to help the patients and families who are in crisis,” added Mr. Morgan.  “We need to create a better system of delivering care that emphasizes access to community drug rehabilitation programs.  We need to have stronger provider networks of mental healthcare physicians, counselors, and support systems to assist patients and their families,” said Mr. Morgan.

“I want us to look at innovative ways to harness the state and federal dollars in our healthcare system to expand access to our behavioral healthcare providers.  Let’s look at addressing the immediate failures in the system and fix them.  Then let’s look at restructuring the delivery system, with patients and their families being the focal point,” said Mr. Morgan.

Mr. Morgan continued, “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.  It is a problem that will mean the next Governor and the General Assembly must work in unison to develop a comprehensive approach that delivers quality behavioral healthcare solutions to patients.  Whether it is in Elizabeth City or Sylva, our people need to be able to count on the mental healthcare delivery system to access the care they need,” said Mr. Morgan.

“I am already exploring the creation of partnerships with our faith-based community in this area. Working with our churches and our faith leaders to provide support programs like we have seen with established self-help programs, I am confident that our faith-based community can play a major role in providing resources to support patients and families,” commented Mr. Morgan.

“It is irresponsible for us to turn our backs on the needs of those who are dealing with drug addiction and mental health issues.  Our system is broken, and we need to work together to fix it.  We owe it to our citizens to restructure and rebuild this system to better serve today’s citizens and future generations,” concluded Mr. Morgan.