Mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals and patients had something to cheer about for a change at the General Assembly last year.
Instead of getting squeezed out again, their reform movement got 95 million dollars to help build local crisis services, retain psychiatrists and improve care.
John Tote, executive director of the Mental Health Association of North Carolina, says the investment's already paying off. But a report says it could cost nearly three billion over the next five years to raise the standard of care for these patients to the national average and maintain improvements.
That's for a system that already spends more than two billion annually.