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The Crisis


“These are the times that try men’s souls” wrote Thomas Paine to describe problems during the American Revolutionary War.  He also wrote a pamphlet entitled Common Sense to argue for independence for the people.


Now we are in crisis given the systematic dismantling of decades of advocacy and progress in our State’s mental health system. We are indeed experiencing “times that try men’s souls” as wave after wave of services continue to be taken away from our fellow citizens who need reasonable and affordable supports to live and work in our communities, our towns and cities, and throughout our state.


And where is the Common Sense  that Paine wrote about in his argument for independence?  In North Carolina independence is being systematically taken away. Decades of proven advocacy and perseverance resulted in amazing success stories.  People by the thousands who had been imprisoned in the state’s mental hospitals made incredible progress when proper supports were provided in our communities.  They stood with us all as we made our communities better places to live and work. They now live with us and work with us. They pay taxes. They worship in our churches. They have taught us about strength of character and what could be achieved when reasonable and affordable support was provided. They are our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our fathers and mothers, and our friends. 


When the State of North Carolina began Mental Health Reform we began to experience the steady regression of those decades of success.  Wave after wave of cuts to services have resulted in mistrust of State officials and elected representatives. With each wave our citizens become more and more vulnerable to the loss of jobs, of home, of safety and of human rights.


We are indeed in immediate crisis in our State. And, all we are getting from the State is continued funding cuts and loss of services. Practically all services have been hit by now…children, adults, those with mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse needs have taken hits. For our services the most recent cut comes in the reduction of case management services to only 3 hours a month regardless of individual need. Most of our people require  more than twice that amount.  It seems that everyone is losing services and the risks are higher and higher that many will not survive this governmental crisis.


 I ask you this…what would you say to our State officials and to our elected representatives if you could tell them what you know about the people who need this support? How would you describe the devastation to their lives these cuts are causing? If you have a family member who is or has received services and saw their services being taken away how would you make them understand?


We have to stand together now and tell our stories. We have to demand that the rights to live in our communities in safety and health are assured for ALL CITIZENS!


Make personal calls, write letters, ask for a meeting, and contact the people listed below. Please do it NOW.  It is urgent and lives do depend upon you and me making ourselves heard. Do not be silent. Do not give up. We are the next decade of advocates and it is our time to step up together.






Gov. Beverly Perdue 733-5811



William Brisson-Co-Chair, House Mental Health Reform Comm. 733-5772



Beverly Earle-Co-Chair, House Mental Health Reform Comm. 715-2530



Verla Insko, Committee Mbr, House Mental Health Reform Comm. 733-7208



For other government officials go to www.ncga.state.nc.us


  3820 Merton Drive, Suite 110
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609  
919.787.1214    919.787.3416 fax