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NC pledges to fix struggling mental health system

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory's administration is promising to fix North Carolina's struggling system for treating people with chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues, but provided few details about how.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos announced Thursday a new Crisis Solutions Coalition including government officials, health care professionals, law enforcement officers and patient advocates. They will study programs around the state with the most success getting people the help.

Wos pointed to the high numbers of people with mental illness spending days in hospital emergency rooms waiting for inpatient psychiatric beds, as well as the confusing and often limited options for patients seeking routine treatment.

Wos spoke at a new Raleigh facility opened by Wake County and UNC Health Care, which she praised as a model.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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