No treatment? | Asheville News | Mountain Xpress

It’s been a tough few years for mental-health providers across North Carolina, as attempts at reform have led to sharp budget cuts and left many clients struggling to find services.

State officials have been trying to transform what they regard as a bulky, overly institutionalized system into one that is more flexible and can offer better services. But critics have asserted that in practice cuts have simply left many providers scrambling to provide care. And current economic woes, they note, have only made matters worse.

A month ago, the situation for Western Highlands, which oversees mental-health services for eight counties, including Buncombe, looked dire: The state took $1.9 million in funds, calling them “underutilized,” and ordered Western Highlands to reduce its fund balance by another $1.5 million. In total, the state cut $5.4 million. Story continues here ➤