The Information Portal to the North Carolina Mental Health Community
Just a few short years ago, North Carolina realized that the quasi State entity, the "Area Authority", was incapable of delivering appropriate services and therefore left mental health consumers unserved. It was determined that the area authorities were too large to deliver services in an appropriate manner. The state transitioned to a community based model that allowed community based private companies to deliver services. Thus the term Community Support and the creation of the Community Support Service Definition.
The Community Support Service Definition was poorly written and widely abused. The costs to the taxpayers resulted in unprecedented changes to the mental health system in North Carolina.
But, the basic premise -- that mental health services should be community based -- is still true. But this truth has been lost in transition. The CABHA plan allows a CABHA agency to provide those services anywhere in the state. This has resulted, in some instances, in some of the larger companies aggressively pursuing the acquisition of smaller, community based providers. The larger providers have the financial resources to make acquisitions, but in a consumer choice environment, community based providers will have the competitive edge. That competitive edge will not exist if there are no community based providers. There is already a shift to reduce competition in the North Carolina mental health industry. When there stops being a community based focus to mental health, the consumers will suffer.
The fact that the consumers will suffer in a mental health system without community based providers has already been documented by North Carolina's recent history. Sure, the change to community based providers was poorly planned. But, the new model, the CABHA model, can only benefit the citizens of North Carolina, if we insure the survival of the community based CABHA.
There must be communication and dialogue at the grassroots level to address the issues that have been raised by North Carolina's transition to the Critical Access Behavioral Health Agency model. The NC CABHA is committed to promoting the dialogue and to insuring that consumers, providers, and the communities in which they live, have access to the new mental health system.
This local access can only be assured if community based services are provided by community based companies. NC CABHA is committed to the survival of small to midsize community based companies, whose survival is threatened by 1) the failure to be adequately represented at the highest levels of policy making within the mental health system, and 2) by the erosion of the state's commitment to community based mental health service delivery.
Just as a few large public agencies could not ensure the appropriate delivery of services, a few large private companies will not be able to ensure the appropriate delivery of services either.. The survival of the community based CABHA is inextricably tied to the appropriate delivery of services to consumers and the communities in which they live.
While we seek to reaffirm the state's commitment to the survival of the community based CABHA agencies, we also seek to reaffirm the agencies' commitment to regulatory compliance. To this end, we endeavor to provide educational and training opportunities to community based CABHA's, that will allow the implementation of regulatory compliance at a level that will survive the strict regulatory scrutiny that will soon follow achievement of CABHA status.
We commit to the education of consumers, politicians, religious leaders, local governments, and community stakeholders on the need for the survival of the community based CABHA's.
Remembering the Small Providers --, Good People, -- Who Could Not Survive the Mental Health Reform
March 15 marked thirty days since the launch of NCCABHA.COM. The response to our effort has been tremendous and insightful.
Tremendous in the sheer volume of visitors to our sight, and that have responded with encouragment.
Insightful in that we were surprised to receive emails suggesting that the citizens of North Carolina were leery of participating in open and frank discussion about the mental health changes. Some have expressed concern for retribution from state level officials for publicly speaking against elements of the reform. While we do not make short shrift of these fears, we dismiss any notion that public expression of opinion on such an important topic should succumb to such fear.
And so, we at nccabha.com march on to the beat of a different drummer, sounding the plight of the community based provider and the concern that rural North Carolina communities will be underserved.
Moreover, we mourn the closure of so many small providers who provided great service, but whose business structure could not withstand the weather of change. We lament the effect that these seismic changes have had on the ability of some very good people, to continue to serve their communities. We at nccabha.com, pause, to thank these small providers for their years of service to our community and dedicate our efforts in honor of those that have suffered so greatly for trying to do such a great work in our communities. God bless you and may he keep you and your family through these difficult financial times.
NC CABHA will post some of the comments received from our viewers. If you would like to have your submission considered, Submit your comments to us at email@example.com
This editorial is in the form of a news article from Roanoke Rapids.http://www.rrdailyherald.com/