Caution, optimism on mental health care change – Carrboro Citizen

As the number of people with mental illness going without care in North Carolina continues to rise, there’s been a recent shift in how the state will be provisioning those services.

The concept behind the new mental health care model announced earlier this month by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is a good one, said Thava Mahadevan, director of XDS Inc., a mental health care provider in Chapel Hill.

The idea was to create a new definition and description of mental health care providers called critical access behavioral health agencies, to go into effect Jan. 1. These agencies will be tasked with providing a comprehensive set of services to people living with mental illness. The agencies must provide four core services: case management for those with mental illness or a substance-abuse problem, comprehensive clinical assessment, medication management and outpatient therapy. They also must provide two additional services from a list that includes intensive in-home care, therapeutic family services, day treatment, psychosocial rehabilitation, a mobile crisis team and six others.

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