mental illness

State launches pilot to restore people’s capacity so they can have their day in court

BY: - April 11, 2023

Last week the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services announced a pilot program to restore the capacity of people with mental health conditions whom the courts determined were incapable to proceed to trial. Per state law, a person lacks the capacity to proceed in a criminal case if they are unable to understand […]

A person struggling with mental health issues gazes out a window.

Beyond medical marijuana, a bipartisan group of NC legislators wants to study psychedelics

BY: - April 11, 2023

Editor’s note: This story mentions PTSD and suicide. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 or chat to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. North Carolina’s Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would legalize medical marijuana for certain patients, faces an uncertain future in the state House this […]


Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Returning to the not-so-friendly skies

BY: - August 14, 2021

When we first emerged from pandemic isolation, we looked like prehistoric cave creatures, blinking slowly as we saw light for the very first time. Except instead of light, it was a waiter approaching with a tray of water glasses. What wonderment is this? Someone I don’t even know is bringing me a beverage. Also, I’m […]

Push to replace law enforcement officers with unarmed crisis intervention experts gains momentum

BY: - August 4, 2021

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year helped instigate a new wave of interest in changing policing in the U.S., including new ways to respond to calls that involve people experiencing mental health crises.   The issue gained additional prominence after officer bodycam footage was released that showed Rochester, N.Y., police handcuffing Daniel Prude, a Black man in a mental health crisis, putting a spit hood over his head and pressing his face onto the pavement.

NC Court of Appeals issues controversial rulings on involuntary commitment process

BY: - July 23, 2021

Why would public defenders representing patients want a requirement that prosecutors be present? Each year, Bob Ward, an assistant public defender in Mecklenburg County, helps more than 1,000 patients with mental illness navigate a process in which a doctor asks the state for permission to force them to receive treatment.

NC failed to meet court-ordered deadlines for moving people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes. But it got another extension.

BY: - June 10, 2021

Service gaps, lack of central control over regional offices, COVID-19 pandemic contribute to "mission drift" North Carolina had eight years under a 2012 court order to move 2,000 people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes and into houses or apartments. A few years ago, the state received an extension to this July. It won’t make that deadline, either.


Wake County sought the death penalty for a man with severe mental illness; only a pandemic stopped it

BY: - May 13, 2021

Wake County prosecutors knew that Kendrick Gregory had severe mental illness when they decided to try him capitally. In the eight months before the crime, he’d been hospitalized at least 20 times for mental illness. He checked himself into emergency rooms over and over, reporting symptoms of psychosis. On some occasions, he said he heard […]

Complaint claims Wake County schools violates rights of students with mental health disabilities

BY: - July 25, 2018

A new complaint with the state’s K-12 leaders claims North Carolina’s largest public school system “routinely violates the rights” of students with mental health disabilities. Attorneys with Advocates for Children’s Services, a Legal Aid of N.C. project, filed the complaint regarding Wake County schools with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Tuesday, noting it […]


The best op-ed of the morning: Cardinal is what you get by privatizing mental health services

BY: - December 14, 2017

Be sure to check out a fantastic op-ed in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by Durham clinical social worker Barbara Smith. In “Managed care failed, now rebuild N.C.’s mental health care system,” Smith does a great job of telling it like it is when it comes to North Carolina’s failed, decades-long privatization […]

New report: Suicide the leading cause of death in NC jails; NC worse than most states

BY: - August 9, 2017

As noted in this space yesterday, the good people at Disability Rights North Carolina are out with a new, informative, easy-to-read and sobering report on what amounts to a crisis in North Carolina’s jails. The report, which complements this week’s series in Raleigh’s News & Observer is entitled “Suicide in North Carolina Jails.” This is […]


This week’s “must read” about North Carolina government

BY: - August 8, 2017

There are a lot of ways in which the conservative obsession with doing government “on the cheap” is limited in its effect on the citizenry. Potholes and crumbling roads, closed parks and rest stops, court delays and rising college tuition: these problems are real and often hugely problematic, but often manageable for those affected — […]

Feds file court motion in attempt to make NC comply with mental health services agreement

BY: - January 14, 2017

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion last week in federal court to enforce a 2012 settlement agreement with the state of North Carolina, alleging it failed to comply with requirements by not providing enough community-based housing to adults with serious mental illnesses. The agreement required the state to provide 1,166 community-based supportive housing slots […]