They say they are experiencing “skyrocketing demand for mental health services in an environment where they cannot meet growing treatment needs,” reported Richard Craver of the Journal last week.
“Quite simply, the behavioral crisis in North Carolina has reached a state of emergency and we urgently need your guidance and cooperation to address it,” said the groups in their letter.
Again, the need seems obvious. But the groups brought the receipts citing a 2021 State of Mental Health in America Report from Mental Health America, which ranks North Carolina 44th in the state for access to mental health care and 45th in the country for youth mental health .
“The earlier piecemeal approach to building a behavioral health system is now leading to gross patient failure at a time when we are in a full blown state of emergency with rising suicide rates, emergency rooms full of children in crisis, and declining behavioral health services near home,” it says in the letter.
“For decades, the criminal justice system and hospital emergency rooms have been the standard safety net for responding to children and adults who are struggling to cope with problems such as anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide.”
The groups also cited excessive use of involuntary involvement as an inadequate response to mental emergencies.