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North Carolina

Website: It's OK to Ask

Recent Developments and Legislation: 

The 2015 N.C. Suicide Prevention Plan is the result of a collaborative 16-month process among staff members from IVPB, the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior, and the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (DMH/DD/SAS).

The plan provides community-based strategies to prevent suicide and is a complement to the clinically focused 2012 Suicide Prevention and Intervention Plan: A Report of the NCIOM Task Force on Suicide Prevention and Intervention produced by the NC Institute of Medicine in collaboration with DMH/DD/SAS.

The development of a new plan provided an opportunity to bring together a diverse group of more than 180 suicide prevention stakeholders to contribute to its creation. Stakeholders representing the following groups offered invaluable input: governmental agencies (federal, state, local); tribal governments; health care systems, insurers, and clinicians; businesses, employers, and professional associations; primary and secondary schools; colleges and universities; nonprofit, community, and faith-based organizations; research organizations; individuals, families, and concerned citizens; and military entities.

The primary purpose of the 2015 N.C. Suicide Prevention Plan is to empower all North Carolinians with knowledge and to highlight specific actions that they can take to reduce suicide. To that end, the plan features more than 500 examples of what various groups, collectively and individually, can do to address suicide in their communities.

The Injury and Violence Branch's Epidemiology Unit has published The Burden of Suicide which provides statistics on suicide, hospitalizations for suicide attempts and emergency department visits for suicide attempts.
House Bill 1183 makes several changes in current law governing health insurance and managed care to comport with US Congressional enactments, specifically establishing mental health parity.
Three major metropolitan areas worked in conjunction with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to hold "Out of Darkness" walks in their respective communities. In Winston-Salem, 195 walkers raised $11,000; In Chapel Hill-Carrboro, 150 walkers raised $11,000; In Charlotte, 188 walkers will be walking in 2008.
On July 12, 2007, North Carolina General Assembly passed a mental health parity bill. The final House vote was 114-2. The bill proceeded to the Governor for his signature.

About House Bill 973:
1. HB 973 covers all group plans.
2. HB 973 covers 9 diagnoses at full parity: bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoid and other psychotic disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
3. HB 973 covers all other mental illness diagnoses at financial parity ? meaning deductibles, coinsurance factors, co-payments, maximum out-of pocket as well as annual and lifetime limits must be the same as for physical illnesses.
4. Mental illness diagnoses not included in the 9 listed above may have different durational limits, but the minimum benefit required must provide for:
Thirty (30) combined inpatient and outpatient days per year and
Thirty (30) office visits per year
5. The law becomes effective July 1, 2008.