State needs to overhaul mental health system

Published December 7, 2023

By Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan, Democratic candidate for Governor, says that North Carolina needs a major adjustment of its delivery of mental healthcare services.  “Twelve people die every single day due to fentanyl drug overdose. 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 LME’s are broken.  Patients can’t get access to community-based drug rehab programs.  The system is not working and serving the critical needs our citizens are facing,” said Mr. Morgan.

“There has been some progress this year but it’s not reaching the patients.  It’s tied up in the bureaucracy and it is 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 providing services that emphasize 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.

“Let’s 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 behavior healthcare solutions to the 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 as well, working with our churches and our faith leaders to provide support programs like we have seen with Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar self-help programs. I am confident that our faith community can play a major role in providing resources to support patients and families,” commented Mr. Morgan.

“It is simply wrong 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.  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.