Behavioral Health

Goal

By 2025, reduce by 25 percent the number of financially disadvantaged North Carolinians whose mental illness and substance abuse challenges go untreated, and help those suffering from behavioral health problems improve their quality of life and overall health.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is working to address the significant challenges of mental illness and substance abuse and reduce their negative impacts on families and communities by investing in a system of prevention, care, and treatment.

Behavioral health disorders are common in the United States, affecting some 44 million adults and 13.7 million children each year. In North Carolina, the University of North Carolina Sheps Center reports that half of those in need of mental health treatment do not receive it. Similarly, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 90 percent of North Carolinians with illicit drug or alcohol dependence or abuse go without treatment.

Mental health disorders are as disabling as heart disease or cancer in terms of premature death and lost productivity, but are often treatable using medication and other therapies. There are many barriers to diagnosis, treatment and care: a shortage of services and providers, especially in rural areas; a failure to link physical and mental health care and inequity in the way services are provided; lack of public awareness of effective treatments; lack of health insurance coverage and financial costs; and stigma. The unmet need for treatment is greatest among the underserved, including the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the financially disadvantaged, the uninsured, and those living in rural areas.

To address gaps in available behavioral health care services and treatment, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is working with local, regional, statewide, and national partners to support efforts to reduce disparities in care and bolster programs proven to improve outcomes.

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Closing The Gap

BUILDING A CONTINUUM OF CARE

Efforts designed to address gaps in individual care, systemic and otherwise.

Investments in Action

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  Statewide development and implementation of an evidence-based mental health model that addresses depression among older adults.

INTEGRATION OF CARE

Efforts that bring mental and primary health care providers together in concurrent assessment and treatment of patients.

Investments in Action

  • NC Foundation for Advanced Health Programs  Coaching, technical assistance, and training to behavioral health agencies, free clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and school-based health centers in developing and implementing integrated care.

PREVENTION

Efforts to identify and support those most at risk of impairment and addiction reflecting the best practices in the field.

Investments in Action

  • Student Action with Farmworkers  Substance abuse and mental health prevention program for migrant farmworkers in rural Eastern North Carolina.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Expansion of evidence-based treatment to those most in need.

Investments in Action

  • Reclaiming Futures  System change to create opportunities for earlier and higher quality substance abuse prevention and treatment services for high-risk youth engaged in the Juvenile Justice system.