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NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services

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About the System

Community-based mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services are managed through a network of local management entities (LME/MCO's) that cover the state's 100 counties. These programs oversee and manage local services.

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Some main categories on MH/DD/SA services are:

Mental Health

Mental Health involves the way that each person balances his or her needs, ambition, abilities, ideals, feelings and conscience in order to meet the demands of everyday life. Mental health influences how we think and feel, about our selves and others, and how we interpret events. It affects our capacity to learn, to communicate, and to form and sustain relationships.

If you are looking for help with mental health, there is a searchable directory of state mental health treatment facilities, services and resources in North Carolina.

Child and Family Mental Health Services Information

Children with serious emotional disturbances face challenges in many aspects of their daily lives-at home, in school, in social situations and in the community. Because of this, they need coordinated services and supports from a variety of child-serving agencies as well as natural supports located in their home communities.

Systems of Care (SOC), supported in North Carolina, are coordinated networks of community services and supports that are organized to meet these challenges. The system of care model is not a program; it is a philosophy of how care should be delivered. This approach to services recognizes the importance of family, school and community and promotes each child's full potential by addressing physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and social needs.

Find a Systems of Care Coordinator in your area.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

DMH/DD/SAS provides specialized mental health and substance abuse services statewide for deaf and hard of hearing consumers of all ages. These services were formalized in 1992 and follow a state plan that guides the development and operation of services. Through regionally-based programs, culturally and linguistically appropriate outpatient services are provided throughout North Carolina by culturally competent clinicians who are fluent in sign language and understand the treatment needs of consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. The Division also operates a specialized Deaf Services Unit for individuals who are deaf and need inpatient psychiatric or substance abuse services.  The Unit is located at Broughton Hospital in Morganton.

For additional Deaf and Hard of Hearing services and resources, visit the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Page.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse refers to the overindulgence in and dependence on a stimulant, depressant, chemical substance, herb (plant) or fungus leading to effects that are detrimental to the individual's physical health or mental health, or the welfare of others. The disorder is characterized by a pattern of continued pathological use of a medication, a non-medically indicated drug or toxin, that results in repeated adverse social consequences related to drug use, such as failure to meet work, family, or school obligations, interpersonal conflicts, or legal problems

Substance abuse is sometimes used as a synonym for drug abuse, drug addiction, and chemical dependency, but actually refers to the use of substances in a manner outside sociocultural conventions. All use of illicit drugs and all use of licit drugs in a manner not dictated by conventions (e.g. according to physician's orders) is abuse according to this definition. Below is a list of services and resources available to individuals who suffer from substance abuse and their family members. There is also a searchable directory of state drug and alcohol treatment programs North Carolina.

Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities are cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments, especially one related to abnormal sensory or motor development, that appears in infancy or childhood and involves a failure or delay in progressing through the normal developmental stages of childhood. Below are links to more in depth information on developmental disabilities programs and issues.

If you are looking for help with developmental disabilities, please refer to your local management entity (LME).

Community Alternatives Program for Persons with Mental Retardation / Developmental Disabilities (CAP-MR/DD)

The Community Alternatives Program for Persons with Mental Retardation/ Developmental Disabilities (CAP-MR/DD) is a special Medicaid program started in 1983 to serve individuals who would otherwise require care in an intermediate care facility for people with the mental retardation/developmental disabilities (ICF/MR). It allows these individuals the opportunity to be served in the community instead of residing in an institutional or group home setting.

CAP-MR/DD operates under a Medicaid home and community-based services waiver granted by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). HCFA approves the services, the number of individuals that may participate, and other aspects of the program. The participants must be at risk of institutionalization. The Medicaid cost for community care must be cost effective in comparison to the cost of ICF/MR care.

The CAP-MR/DD program is administered by the Best Practice and Community Innovations Team in the Community Policy Management Section of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. The Local Management Entities are responsible for operation at the local level. The Division of Medical Assistance, as the State Medicaid Agency, provides oversight in relation to Medicaid and waiver issues.


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