CEO to Urge NC Leaders to Restore Funding

“We hope that the Governor and Assembly listen to the devastation happening across North Carolina,” said Terhune. “Our most vulnerable citizens are being neglected, and the current plan will not save the money intended. Money will be spent instead on more emergency room visits, hospitalizations, criminal trials, and jail incarcerations.”

North Carolina is in a state of emergency. Local communities have begun eliminating programs in response to the state’s budget cuts. Thousands of individuals are losing access to some or all of their services. Small and large North Carolina-based service providers are going out of business; 48 providers have thus far notified the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services about discontinuing services. Medicaid rate cuts, cuts to state funded services, massive systemic overhaul of case management, and child residential treatment have created an avalanche of destruction that is now crashing down upon the frail and brittle service system that was established to support North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens.

As with other emergencies, The Coalition will demand that the Governor call a Special Session to correct the inhumane budgetary choices made by Legislators this past Legislative Session, and that the Administration be given emergency powers to effect crucial changes necessary to neutralize the impending threats to heath and safety. Jennifer Mahan, Chair of The Coalition, says, “Budget cuts have put North Carolina’s mental health, developmental disability and addictive disease system in a state of emergency and we expect our state’s leaders to treat this as they would any other crisis.”

Dave Richard, Executive Director of The Arc of North Carolina & Coalition Budget Committee Co-Chair, states, “Our states leaders say that they are prioritizing job growth, when in reality they have supported business incentives and projects that have few, lasting effects while cutting 500 million from North Carolina employers supporting tens of thousands of people with disabilities. It’s time to prioritize people.”

THE COALITION www.thecoalitionnc.org (formerly Coalition 2001) represents individuals and organizations statewide that advocate for persons needing services and supports for mental health, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases.

Monarch provides support and resources to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance abuse issues in 52 counties across North Carolina. Monarch is a nonprofit and is a charter member of the national organization known as The Arc. To learn more about how Monarch helps “dreams take flight” for people living in our communities, please call 1-800-230-7525 or go online at www.MonarchNC.org.

To view the press conference click this link:
http://72.167.22.100/action_alert/index.shtml