PBH: What does the silence have to say?

Actions may speak louder than words, but silence often speaks louder than either.

With the 3-month anniversary of North Carolina Mental Hope’s request for board minutes of Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare just passed, it seems an appropriate time to ask what the silence of the LMEs administrators, of legislators and of advocates has to say.

The silence of PBH: It doesn’t take an advanced degree in common sense to have sense enough to ask what they’re hiding. And if not hiding anything, what does it say about the organization’s integrity that the prevailing mindset is apparently one of fear or uncertainty that something adverse to its interests might be found? What does it say about an agency’s integrity that it chooses to hold itself above the law? To me, it screams they have none. And yet, it is the chosen model for others to emulate in building the bedrock of our state’s system for the delivery of mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services.

The silence of legislators: Allow me to be diplomatic and say the silence must just say they haven’t heard. How else to explain their not questioning an entity brazenly ignoring the laws of the land, the laws that are so basic to the democracy they represent. And certainly legislators wouldn’t want to appear supportive of anything that keeps taxpayers from knowing how their dollars are spent. And so, I’m setting out to make sure they know, making sure their offices are contacted by phone and mail with additional efforts by email, fax, carrier pigeon or whatever other means might be available. Click here if you would like to help make sure they get the message.

The silence of advocates: Again, and with diplomacy, let me say perhaps they do not know. Or perhaps they are speaking and I’m unaware. Regardless, certainly the PBH Consumer and Family Advisory Council can’t think that PBH’s disregard of the state’s public record laws is in the best interests of the consumer and family interests they represent, much less those of consumers and families across the state. Certainly other advocacy organizations are about to chime in with their support by legislators to voice their concerns.

Then again, silence can be a powerful status quo.

David Cornwell
Executive Director
North Carolina Mental Hope


  1. silence means if you speak you get beat up, arrested, sued, harrassed, or ignored … depending on who’s not listening

  2. John P. Burke says:

    Mr. Cornwell is not being honest in his claims that PBH is hiding something. As he knows, PBH Board Minutes are available for his (or anyone’s) inspection at a reasonable time and place. Pulling nine year old records out of storage would cost taxpayers’ money to be wasted. Converting those records to an electronic media would be even more expensive, taking funds away from the very people Mr. Cornwell claims to speak for.

    Like any other citizen, Mr. Cornwell is welcome to attend any Board Meeting, and to speak if he wishes. So far he has been conspicuous by his absence. Why?

    • silence means if you speak you get beat up, arrested, sued, harrassed, or ignored … depending on who’s not listening

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