Action Alert: Call Your Legislators about this important bill

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill, Senate Bill 493, that would mandate coverage by every health benefit plan for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorder for individuals 23 or younger.  Licensed professional counselors are listed specifically as therapeutic care providers in the bill.  The bill also creates a licensing board for behavior analysts.  If you are interested in voicing your support for this bill, you can find contact information for your state senator and your state representative by visiting the following link and putting in your home address.

If you are interested in reading the autism section of the bill, please refer to pages 18 – 26 of the following link:

The General Assembly short session will likely adjourn by July, so timing is critical in making your voices heard before the session adjourns.  

SAMHSA Webinar Wednesday 2:30 on Local Crisis Response Systems

Innovative State and Local Crisis Response Systems –  Expanding Community-Based Behavioral Health
Crisis Response Systems

Join SAMHSA on Wednesday, June 18, 2-3:30 p.m. EDT for the fourth webinar, Innovative State and Local Crisis Response Systems, in SAMHSA’s six-part webinar series on expanding community based crisis response services and systems. The series explores new and emerging crisis response practices across a continuum of need, from pre-crisis planning, to early intervention, to crisis stabilization to post crisis support. This fourth webinar will highlight the statewide response system of Delaware and the crisis response model, The Living Room. Presenters Kevin Huckshorn and Lori Ashcroft will describe these innovative responses to crises, how they are financed, what outcomes are achieved, and more.

If you have not already registered, click here for instructions on how to register, as well as additional information on the webinar series. For additional information, please contact Aisha Walker at

LPCANC Speaks With VA Acting Secretary

Veterans Affairs Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson Visit Fayetteville VA Hospital

On Thursday June 12, 2014 the acting Secretary Sloan Gibson made a stop at the Fayetteville VA Hospital. In attendance were representatives for the Congressional members in the in Fayetteville area (Senators Hagan, Burr, Congressmen Price, Ellmers and McIntyre). Other member’s present included veterans who represented the local and state veteran’s organizations as well as leadership from the Fayetteville VA Hospital. LPCANC was the only mental health organization represented at the meeting. Toni Morris, President-Elect was in attendance. She spoke to Secretary Gibson and the other members in attendance about concerns related to the mental health of our veterans. She encouraged Secretary Gibson to focus on the mental health aspects of our veterans along with the medical aspects of our veterans. Secretary Sloan was receptive to Toni and reassured her that our veteran’s mental health was a priority. Toni also addressed the concerns that LPCs were not being hired by the VA Hospital. She will be setting up a meeting with the Associate Director of the Fayetteville VA Hospital, Mr. James Galkowski, to discuss this concern. 

Secretary of VA in Fayetteville Today

The Secretary of the VA will be at the VA in Fayetteville noon or so today at the request of Senator Kay Hagen.  If anyone wants to attend, contact the LPCANC office [919-723-7131] for more information.  This is an opportunity to give input to the VA on the importance of LPCs being hired by the VA.

TV series on Mental Health in North Carolina

UNC-TV is airing a three part series on mental health care in North Carolina on Tuesdays at 7:30.  The series began last night and will continue June 3 and June 10.  The link for the show last night is

Heather Burgiss begins a three part series airing over the next several weeks on Mental Health: Crisis in North Carolina.  In part one, Heather examines the challenges faced by families, those working in mental health and government leaders in finding ways to provide treatment for people with mental health issues.  According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 1.4 million North Carolinians are living with mental illness, developmental disabilities or substance abuse.  It is estimated that over 635,000 in our state are mentally ill.  Also on this show is a look at the Tele-Psychiatry initiative in North Carolina.

Medicaid Reform May Be Postponned

  • A report on an interview with Senator Berger:
  • Medicaid: The state’s health insurance program for the poor and disabled is a perennial thorn in the side of budget writers. Lawmakers say they expect to have to spend $90 million to $130 million to patch a hole in this year’s budget, which means they will also have to budget more for the 2014-15 budget year, which begins on July 1. “We’ve made that point in the past that Medicaid has had the tendency to crowd out our ability to do some things,” Berger said. Dealing with that shortfall, and preventing a similar one in the future, will be a significant part of the budget process, he said. That said, don’t expect a major shift in Medicaid budget policy this year. A committee appointed by the governor, Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis recommended the state create accountable care organizations – physician groups that would collect a flat fee to care for Medicaid patients. Berger said that suggestion doesn’t go far enough. “That may very will be something that will have to wait until the longer session in 2015,” he said.