Behavioral Health Strategy: Residents Can Comment on Plan to Address Mental Health and Substance Use

Counsellor offering patient support

Mecklenburg County has completed a draft of a behavioral health strategic plan and invites residents to review and offer comments, especially people with lived experience, family members, and service providers.  

Behavioral health generally refers to mental health and substance use disorders, life stressors and crises, and stress-related physical symptoms. In recent years, Mecklenburg County has identified behavioral health as a priority for improving the well-being of residents. The purpose of the strategic plan is to improve access, quality, and coordination of services in the community and guide the use of public investments for behavioral health. 

The draft plan was presented to the Board of County Commissioners and the public on Tuesday, May 7. It is available for review at through June 8, 2024, and the community is encouraged to submit feedback before the plan is finalized. 

Residents can submit feedback: 

In drafting the plan, Mecklenburg County collected input from the community through interviews, listening sessions, and presentations with a wide variety of groups. The report was also informed by a quantitative analysis of gaps in existing behavioral health services. So far, about 700 stakeholders, advocates, and people with lived experience, have taken part in public engagement sessions. A steering committee identified five priority areas to help guide the plan:  

  1. Collaborative and Coordinated Care 
  2. Social Determinants of Health 
  3. Prevention and Early Intervention 
  4. Access to Care 
  5. Service Array 

At the heart of these guiding principles are collaboration, individualized and strength-based practices, cultural and trauma competence, and coordination of services. Ultimately, the goal is to create a community where all residents have equal access to the services they need, so they can lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Mecklenburg County’s goal is to publish the finalized plan during the summer of 2024.  

View the May 7, 2024 presentation to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners.