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Breakdown – NC’s mental health system unravels

For the past several years, North Carolina’s mental health system has been unraveling.
Contributing Editor Taylor Sisk has been tracking the changes and the impact of a loss of services on individuals in the system.

1. Lost in a lost system
A young man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and his experience with our state’s mental health care system.

2. A once-effective system spins out of control
How a relatively effective mental health care system in North Carolina once provided services, and then unraveled.

3. Reform creates a bewildering system
The chaos created by mental health care reform in North Carolina.

4. Is our best enough?
Is the best heath care available in Orange County enough?

5. Difficult decisions in a void
A family’s struggle to find the care their son required.

6. The will to find a better way
What mental health care advocates say must happen to create a better system.

7. Amid the doom and gloom, positive developments in Orange County
A look at emerging solutions

Recent Stories

Club Nova awaits direction on its future – April 22, 2010
Mixed news on mental health care – July 8, 2010
State implements new mental health care requirements – January 20, 2011
DHHS overhaul to hit home – June 30, 2011
State in violation of ADA, feds say – August 4, 2011
Budget cuts take further toll on mental health system – September 15, 2011

3 Responses

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  1. Emily Harris

    I ama licensed mental health provider. I moved here from another state that does not have CABHA, LME and many other things that NC has. I have worked for 3 CABHA agencies in other counties. I live in Carteret County. I have only read the article from today, 6/30/2011.

    I have been concerned ever since I came in September 2010 about the extremely high turnover rates among the mental health professionals who work in CABHA’s. It seems to me that the first thing to do is to reduce the turnover rate. Turnovers are very expensive. Turnovers are also generally not good for the people who receive services. As much as is possible, it is necessary to have continuity of care and that includes low turnovers in mental health professionals. Changing therapists and QP’s can have negative effects on client’s progress.

    Yes, the requirements are very high for CABHA’s and yes, the Medicaid requirements are very high. Coming from a state that did not have Intensive In Home services, I believe strongly in the benefits of IIH. Overall, in the long term, I think it is much less costly to have IIH services available to all who need them. You can prevent a host of problems before they get worse. the state I came from had no IIH but there were far too many kids spending a lot of their lives in and out of group homes, hospitals, jails and long term care facilities. Much of that could have been reduced if good IIH services had been available.

    There are a few very simple things that I believe should be done to reduce turnovers in CABHA’s. I came here not knowing basic things such as what is an LME, what is a CABHA, etc. My then-employer refused to explain these basic things to me. This was detrimental to my job performance. IIH team members and leaders are required to have much training. I began work without the IIH required trainings. This also was detrimental to my work performance. IIH providers should have all the required trainings prior to beginning work. There was a lack of basic office equipment in our department. My team was wonderful and did their jobs very well.

    Employer-employee relations are not as good as they could be. IIH is a difficult but rewarding job. Employers need to watch employee morale and work to keep morale high. Good employer-employee relations go a long way toward reducing turnover rates and improving service to clients.

    Complaints from clients, families, schools and other types of complaints seem often to be handled by firing therapists instead of mediating and resolving the issues.

    A lot of money could be saved or put to better use by reducing turnover rates, early and adequate training of employees, better workplace communication, better employer-employee relationships and better ways of handling complaints.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. The Progressive Pulse – Saving the mental health system
  2. Carrboro Citizen’s Series on Mental Health « Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force Blog

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