Behavioral Health After Hurricane Florence

North Carolinians will continue to experience the impacts of Hurricane Florence long after the storm. DHHS is working diligently to support North Carolinians on their way to a full recovery – mind, body and belongings.

Disasters are stressful and there is no right or wrong way to feel. People can experience a wide range of emotions and stress manifests differently in different people. Signs of distress can include: changes in sleep, appetite, energy or substance/medication use and physical manifestations such as headaches or stomach aches.

Certain people, such as children or those with an intellectual or developmental disability, may find it especially troubling to be forced out of the stability of their community and their daily routine.

The state, local health care providers, and volunteer organizations are making every effort to bring care and comfort to those in need.

How to get help immediately:

  • The national Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year resource dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling. 
  • Those who are uninsured or have Medicaid can call the crisis line of the Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization in their region:
    o    Alliance: 1-800-510-9132
    o    Cardinal: 1-800-939-5911
    o    Eastpointe: 1-800-913-6109
    o    Partners: 1-888-235-4673
    o    Sandhills: 1-800-256-2452
    o    Trillium: 1-877-685-2415
    o    Vaya Health: 1-800-849-6127
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Health Care have arranged for free crisis behavioral health support. 
    o    For Magellan, call 1-800-327-7451. 
    o    For Optum, call 1-866-342-6892.

Other help and resources from DHHS and partners:

Each LME/MCO is following their disaster response plan that is focused on regional and local behavioral health needs for both children and adults. DHHS is providing additional support in the following ways:

  • Behavioral health clinicians across the state and beyond have been mobilized to work in our shelters and in our communities.
  • The state is allowing opioid treatment programs to offer patients four to six days of take-home doses of medication and allowing patients to receive medication at another licensed opioid treatment program if their facility is closed due to the storm. Other locations can be found in the Central Registry.
  • The state is in the process of applying for additional community outreach support through the federal crisis counseling program.

And there is much more we intend to do. We are seeking federal funding and support for a full array of behavioral health services to support individuals on their way to recovery.