NC Dept. Of Health And Human Services 6/21/24

Posted in: Madison Park
June 21, 2024
Two girls drink water from glasses.
On June 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new grant totaling more than $1 million to NCDHHS for lead testing in drinking water at some North Carolina schools and childcare centers.  

NCDHHS will use this funding to continue implementing its program to test for lead contamination in drinking water at all licensed childcare centers, including Head Start/pre-Kindergarten programs in elementary schools.

The program works with childcare centers to provide education about lead and mitigation recommendations, and they have initiated a second round of follow-up testing to understand the changes in lead exposure over time. 

Visit the Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids website for more information on North Carolina’s lead testing in water and paint in schools program and its funding page for recent grant funding.
A "Hurricane Evacuation Route" sign with an arrow on it points down a road, with trees in the background.
New Disaster-Specific Mental Health Toolkit
This week, NCDHHS launched a new, multilingual Disaster and Behavioral Health Resources Communications Toolkit to provide communities with tips, guidance and resources to support mental and emotional health before, during and after a disaster. The toolkit includes fact sheetssocial media posts and videos on how to find mental health resources nearby, online or by phone; navigate stressful events while living with a disability or as a caregiver; access care if someone struggles with substance use; learn safety guidance and more. The materials include general disaster tips and resources, in addition to mental health services like the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and Disaster Distress Helpline. Several materials are also available in Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic to inform and support more North Carolinians. Share the toolkit with families, friends and colleagues, and make a plan to stay in touch with your loved ones during a disaster. Visit to plan for a disaster and help spread the word about the Disaster and Behavioral Health Resources Communications Toolkit
NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley speaks at the Suicide Prevention Summit in Chapel Hill. The words "Building Momentum for Suicide Prevention in North Carolina" are displayed on a screen behind him.
Suicide Prevention Summit and Resources
On June 13, Secretary Kinsley joined community leaders across North Carolina at the UNC Friday Center in Chapel Hill to share resources and build connections at the Statewide Summit on Suicide Prevention. NCDHHS recently launched a Suicide Prevention Resources website with helpful information on suicide and crisis lifelines, suicide prevention action plans, and resources for you, your community and providers to help prevent suicide. Resources are grouped to easily identify services that meet the needs of North Carolina's diverse population, divided by age, sexuality, race, ethnicity and military status. Whether you are seeking assistance for yourself or someone else, or if you want to implement an initiative in your community or need guidance, the Suicide Prevention Resources are here to assist. Data sourcestoolkits and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center Best Practices Registry are all a part of the new website content.
Five people icons with speech bubbles above their heads.
Submit a Public Comment on the 2024-2029 Mental Health Strategic Plan
NCDHHS is seeking public comment on the draft 2024-2029 Strategic Plan for NCDHHS' Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Services (DMH/DD/SUS), which shares the division’s mission, vision, guiding principles, priorities and goals for the next five years. Please share your feedback by completing the public comment form by July 1. The draft 2024-2029 DMH/DD/SUS Strategic Plan was developed in collaboration with internal and external partners and has been previewed in many settings over the last six months, including the division’s monthly side-by-side webinars, meetings with the State Consumer and Family Advisory Committee (SCFAC) and through discussions with providers and Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCOs). If you would like to learn more about the work within DMH/DD/SUS, please consider attending our side-by-side webinar, joining our advisory committees or signing up for our mailing list.    
A child sits eating fruits and vegetables out of a container, next to the words "SUN Bucks."
SUN Bucks Program Now Available to Provide Summer Meals to NC Children
The SUN Bucks program is now available to help feed more than 1 million North Carolina children this summer. Eligible families can receive a one-time payment of $120 per child to purchase nutritious foods during the summer — a critical benefit for the 1 in 6 children in North Carolina who live in households without consistent access to food. Distribution of benefits began June 14 and most eligible families automatically qualify for the SUN Bucks program with no action needed to receive the $120 payment. Families with children receiving food and nutrition services will see their SUN Bucks benefits loaded onto their existing EBT card, and all other children will receive a SUN Bucks card in the mail.  NCDHHS will send an email or text message to families with children who do not automatically qualify but may be eligible for SUN Bucks with instructions about how to apply. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31, 2024 for the 2024 summer period. For more information, visit the updated SUN Bucks website and read the SUN Bucks frequently asked questions.
A group of NC leaders holds a ribbon in front of the new Alamance Behavioral Center during its ribbon cutting and open house.
Alamance Behavioral Health Center Ribbon Cutting
On June 19, the Alamance Behavioral Center held its open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony in Burlington. The event featured representatives from the Alamance County Government, NCDHHS, RHA Health Services and Vaya Health. The center will offer an array of mental health services, substance use recovery support and services for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. As a comprehensive care center focused on safety, resiliency and support at every stage of the wellness journey, it will also offer pharmacy services, a peer living room, and a dedicated child/family entrance. For individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, the center will serve as an alternative to the local Emergency Department. Crisis services, including triage, risk assessment and intervention, will be available 24/7. Read more about the facility. 

A person sits at their desk with a pen in hand. There is a notebook and a laptop on the desk in front of them.
Side-by-Side Webinar with NCDHHS' Mental Health Division
Join staff from NCDHHS' Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Services on July 1 at 2 p.m. to learn more about policies and programs that affect the Mental Health, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Substance Use Services and Traumatic Brain Injury community. The goal of these monthly webinars is to bring everyone together in one (virtual) place to share ideas for public policy that will improve the lives of North Carolinians. This group includes consumers, families, advisory groups, LME/MCOs, community members and partner organizations. Side by side, we will work together to improve our system. Register for the webinar on July 1 via Zoom and see a flyer for more information.  

Roy Cooper, Governor  |  Kody H. Kinsley, Secretary

Our mailing address is: NCDHHS,
 2001 Mail Service Center, RaleighNC 27699

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