State Auditor Will Investigate NC mental Health System

Problems with a plan to shift mental health care from hospitals to local agencies has prompted the state auditor's office to investigate North Carolina's mental health system.

A spokesman for state Auditor Les Merritt says the office will examine the closing of an Asheville mental health agency, New Vistas-Mountain Laurel, and other agencies.

In a series of articles published last year, the Winston-Salem Journal wrote about North Carolina's 2001 plan to shift care to local agencies. Since that overhaul, some community agencies have been unable to provide care effectively.

New Vistas-Mountain Laurel announced two months ago that it would stop operations in October because it could no longer afford to provide services.