Gov. McCrory adresses mental health system in NC - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Gov. McCrory adresses mental health system in NC

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Governor Pat McCrory spent the afternoon in Greenville Thursday.

It's the National Day of Prayer for people of all different faiths.

McCrory arrived from Raleigh this morning to observe the Day of Prayer in Greenville. It took place on the steps of the Pitt County Courthouse.
McCrory also spent some time downtown, where he took a tour of Main Street and the various businesses to see what changes are in process. He also met with area business owners.

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas said it's great to have McCrory in town and to bring everyone together.

"What I like is a sense of hope from so many here and knowing that there is a faith here in this community that is so strong and is such a light and it's not just one particular faith, but it's just having that unity here in the community," said Thomas.

As part of 9 On Your Side's Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked McCrory about the state's mental health system.

"The mental health program is probably the most broken system in state government right now," said McCrory.

It's a broken system with no easy fix. And McCrory says it's been on the back burner for way to long.

"Its' probably my biggest challenge as governor because it's been basically ignored for the last 15 to 20 years," he added.
But how did it get to that point? The list of reasons could go on and on, but the main breakdown seems to date back to 2001 when then-Governor Easley turned North Carolina's public mental health system into a private system of for-profit providers.
From there, McCrory said it all went downhill.

"We're doing a thorough audit of everything how the money is being spent, how the service is being delivered, and what we can do to improve it," said the governor.
Almost immediately, the number of managing organizations dropped off to just 11 and thousands of those providers popped up.
The ones here in the east run by East Carolina Behavioral Health.
But many are now facing major financial problems of their own, shutting down, leaving families dealing with mental health with no where to turn.

"The mental health system is currently our local jails and our emergency rooms and hospitals and that's unacceptable to the patients to families and it's also unacceptable to the tax payer of North Carolina," McCrory said.
McCrory said to start heading towards a solution, it's going to take almost complete reform of the health care system, along with many others in state government.    

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