Governor Cooper Unveils Plan To Invest $1 Billion in North Carolina’s Mental Health Crisis


Governor Roy Cooper has unveiled a plan to invest $1 billion in order to address North Carolina’s mental health and substance abuse crisis. This crisis has been marked by a sharp rise in anxiety and depression, an increase in overdose deaths by 72 percent, and a doubling of youth suicide rates.

The plan outlines investments in the continuum of behavioral health care, including making behavioral health services more accessible, building support systems for those in crisis and those with complex needs, and using data and technology to improve health access and outcomes. This plan also includes initiatives to support the behavioral health workforce, which is essential for its success.

“Our mental health system is under significant stress and in need of major investments to make sure every family, student and North Carolinian can get critical care,” Governor Cooper said in a press release. “This plan tackles the ongoing mental health crisis in a direct and meaningful way by investing in the whole-person health of North Carolinians. It will empower workplaces, schools, and local governments in search of more ways to help their communities and most importantly, it will save lives.”

The full break down of the $1 billion investment includes:

  • Increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for behavioral health services ($225 million)
  • Improve routine access to integrated care in communities and schools ($175 million)
  • Created new links between behavioral health and justice systems ($150 million)
  • Strengthen statewide behavioral health crisis system ($200 million)
  • Transform child welfare and family well-being ($100 million)
  • Create sustainable hospitalization and step-down options ($100 million)
  • Enable better health access and outcomes with data and technology ($50 million)

You can check out the full plan online here.