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Posted on: December 11, 2023

New Hanover County finalizes awards for mental health and substance use disorder programs

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Following a review of submitted proposals by community partners, New Hanover County has awarded $990,000 to six local programs aimed at addressing needs related to mental health and substance use disorders. This funding is part of the county’s $6.8 million in budgeted spending for the current fiscal year to increase capacity in addressing community needs in this area.  

Funding for these programs comes from the national Opioid Settlement Funds and the county’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Fund. The funds for these six programs will be used to support housing services, treatment, community outreach, and employment services to citizens dealing with mental health and substance use disorder issues.  

“Today marks a significant step for our community as we provide the first round of funding as part of a yearly cycle that will create opportunities for our neighbors to get the help they need,” said Bill Rivenbark, Chair of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. “We are continuing to use our county’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Strategy to guide decisions on how we allocate funds and are diligently working to enhance local service in these critical areas for the safety and well-being of our citizens.” 

This funding is part of the county’s overall Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Strategy Program, which was approved by the Board of County Commissioners in September 2022 to address the mental health and substance abuse crises being experienced in the community. To date, approximately $21.5 million has been budgeted over the next five years to support enhanced services and increased capacity.   

The source of funds available to implement this strategy comes from the county’s $50 million Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Fund, which was created from the New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health, as well as funds from the national Opioid Settlements.  The county expects to receive nearly $34 million in opioid settlement funds over the next 18 years. 

In addition to the $990,000 in funding for programs being reported today, the county’s $6.8 million budget for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 includes funding for a treatment facility, as well as funding for several other programs that focus on a combination of prevention, treatment and recovery. 

Information related to the six programs awarded funding are as follows: 

Supportive Housing Services - $500,000 Total 

  • LINC: $250,000 from the Mental Health Fund for 15 new beds for clients with mental health or substance use disorders. 
  • Tides: $95,000 from the Opioid Settlement Fund for Recovery Housing Support and a housing assistance program, benefiting 10 women who have graduated from the Tides program. 
  • Coastal Horizons: $155,000 from the Opioid Settlement Fund for expanding recovery housing and case management services for opioid use disorders.

Outpatient Treatment - $250,000 Total 

  • Coastal Horizons: $250,000, equally from the Mental Health Fund and Opioid Settlement Fund, to increase outpatient treatment for an additional 375 to 500 individuals annually in New Hanover County, with a focus on the uninsured or underinsured.

Community Outreach - $200,000 from the Mental Health Fund 

  • Coastal Horizons, New Hope CDC, and LINC: A total of $200,000 for enhancing peer support and community outreach services.

Employment Services - $40,000 from the Opioid Settlement Fund 

  • LINC: $40,000 to enhance employment boot camps, offering job placement and support services.

For more information on all the programs that are being funded, please visit New Hanover County's Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Strategy.  

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