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Limited Mental Health Resources for Youth in North Carolina: An Exploration of the Causes


Apr 4, 2024

North Carolina is ranked among the bottom half of states in the nation with the highest need for and lowest rates of access to youth mental health services. As a way to address these needs in severe cases, the state sends teens to psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs). However, PRTFs can also present challenges to youth residents and their families.

WUNC’s Jason deBruyn spent a year investigating North Carolina’s psychiatric residential treatment facilities with support from a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism 2023 Data Fellowship. More of his reporting can be found in multiple articles.

In a conversation with Due South co-host Jeff Tiberii, deBruyn discusses his findings along with two expert-advocates for youth mental health in North Carolina. The guests include Jason deBruyn, who is WUNC’s supervising editor for digital news, Holly Stiles, the Assistant Legal Director for Litigation for Disability Rights NC, and Paul Lanier, a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Lanier is also the principal investigator for the school’s Behavioral Health Springboard and a co-director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Systems Research at the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

By editor

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