Speak up about mental-health reform

The Blue Ridge Area Authority (the local mental-health board) is hosting a public forum on mental-health-care reform on Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (501 Biltmore Ave.) in Asheville.

In addition, both a Buncombe County task force and an eight-county advisory committee are being set up to provide additional opportunities for public input on how local services will be delivered. A plan for a new regional entity to manage mental-health services is being developed with the input of county managers from Buncombe, Madison, Mitchell, Yancey, Transylvania, Henderson, Rutherford and Polk counties.

Last week, the Buncombe County commissioners created a local task force to keep them informed about the potential impacts of mental-health-reform efforts. The 15-member task force will be made up of service providers, service recipients and their families, and mental-health advocates. For an application to serve on the task force, contact Clerk to the Board Kathy Hughes at 250-4105.

“That will allow people to give input who feel like they weren’t being heard before,” offered Commissioner David Young.

In addition, the Blue Ridge Area Authority is establishing an 18-member committee to provide input on how mental-health services will be delivered across the eight-county area. For more info, contact the Blue Ridge Center at 258-3500.


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