What Is Mental Health Reform
According to Alison Gray, in July 2000, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation establishing the Legislative Oversight Committee for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services to develop a plan implementing the State Auditor’s recommendations. The Legislative committee drafted enabling legislation and guidelines for the new mental health care system for a five year period from 2001 to 2006, and in 2001, the General Assembly enacted the reform legislation. An Act to Phase in Implementation of Mental Health System Reform at the State and Local Level (2009, p61; para 1).
According to Gray, he draft bill incorporated the State Auditors recommendations that governance should be transferred from area programs to the counties. However, after the bill was introduced from area programs to the counties. However, after the bill was introduced, several area programs and their board members objected to counties subsuming the area program. County commissioners also opposed this feature, concerned that they would be saddled with funding responsibility. The bill ultimately adopted by the General Assembly opted for a compromise position (2009, para 2).
“Under the new legislation, the Secretary of Health and Human Service was required to develop and implement a State Plan for MH/DD/SAS by December 1, 2001, that among other things, redesigned the service system to target resources to the most needy in the most integrated community settings possible and moved area programs away from the role of direct service providers toward the role of local management entities (LMEs) responsible for developing, managing, and monitoring networks of service provider. The new LMEs could take one of four forms: (1) single county area authority; (2) multi-county area authority; (3) county program; or (4) multi county program. The first two options retained the former structure but with changes designed to...