To actively move forward with the Stepping Up Initiative, Cabarrus County created a Mental Health Advisory Board. Approved by resolution in October 2016, this task force serves as a resource for determining early intervention efforts, assessing available mental health resources, and evaluating the criminal justice system and County jail for improvements in relation to their clients who suffer from mental illness.
The Mental Health Advisory Board is inclusive, with 25 positions for those who need, provide, respond to and use mental health services in Cabarrus County. This includes mayors, law enforcement, schools, public health, human services, EMS, mental health providers, judges, the District Attorney’s office, hospitals, etc.
Initial discussions uncovered a wide spectrum of crosscutting issues and needs in our community. The County hopes to lead this effort to raise public awareness, improve access to services and care and improve crisis response. These needs have become the focus of the Mental Health Advisory Board.
The Mental Health Advisory Board is not in name only—it will provide recommendations to the County. We will move forward by directing future decisions and making funds available to support this initiative. And we will move forward through open and honest conversations that give us the courage to admit our shortfalls as a community and the wisdom to make a change.
GOAL: To identify available, accessible and acceptable mental health resources in Cabarrus County.
GOAL: To identify gaps in care that appropriately identifies, evaluates and assesses individuals with mental illness and through an informed referral process, connect those individuals to appropriate services.
GOAL: To reduce the stigma of mental health by providing education and outreach that promotes a spectrum of services and advocacy.