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RALEIGH — Mental health leaders from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will be traveling across North Carolina over the next several months on a town hall listening tour to hear the concerns and experiences of consumers, families and advocates.

The first town hall meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 30, from 12:30–2:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church activity center, 1939 Independence Blvd., Wilmington.

The second meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 20, from noon–2 p.m. at the Green Tree Peer Center, 930 S. Broad St., Winston-Salem.

The dates and locations for the remaining five town hall meetings will be announced when that information becomes available.

“The voices of consumers and community stakeholders are critical when it comes to assessing our progress and exploring ways that we can improve health outcomes for people who rely on our system for their well-being and recovery,” said Kody Kinsley, deputy secretary for Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developments Disabilities.

In 2019, an estimated 113,816 adults and children received behavioral health and intellectual and developments disabilities services through North Carolina’s public mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services system, and an additional 8,066 individuals were served through state-operated facilities. The town hall events will provide an opportunity to respond to questions and discuss concerns from consumers and their families and advocates.

The meetings also will provide an opportunity to discuss the status of the transition of the state’s Medicaid program to managed care. Implementation of managed care has been suspended because the General Assembly adjourned without providing required new spending and program authority needed to move forward.

“Everyday, hard working, compassionate and dedicated staff show up looking for ways to make our system better, services more accessible and outcomes better for the individuals we serve in our public behavioral health and IDD system,” Kinsley said. “These town halls will allow us an opportunity to get out into the heart of communities and listen firsthand to the concerns, experiences and issues impacting the recipients of our services, their families and advocates.”

For more information, contact news@dhhs.nc.gov or call (919) 855-4840.

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