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

For Those We Serve

Mental Health Service for Adults

Mental Health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

William Anthony, Director of the Boston Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation (1993) identifies recovery as “a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness." (Anthony, W. A. (1993). Recovery from mental illness: The guiding vision of the mental health service system in the 1990’s. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal, 16(4), 11-23.)

NAMI defines mental illnesses as medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Mental illnesses can affect ANYONE.  Persons at all levels of functioning and intelligence may experience mental illnesses.  Mental illnesses are as prevalent as other medical illnesses, and constitute a major public health problem. (Connecticut Department of Mental Illness and Addiction Services)

Adult Mental Health Services in North Carolina

Since mental health reform in 2001, the Division has been involved in numerous efforts to substantially transform the types of services offered, as well as the manner in which the system operates. New and expanded services that have been proven effective are available for adults with serious mental illness. This includes:

  • Services that emphasize support, education/training, rehabilitation and recovery
  • Services that include natural and community supports
  • Systems that are seamless and work together to enable consumers to live successfully in their communities.

Examples of local services and initiatives include:

North Carolina’s adult mental health services are accessed through the Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO). Locate services in your area.



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