The Division of MH/DD/SUS, Community Engagement and Empowerment team provides education, training, and technical assistance to internal and external organizations and groups to facilitate community inclusion and meaningful engagement of persons with lived MH/DD/SUD experience across HHS policy making, program development, and service delivery systems.

The CEE team, under the leadership of the Assistant Director for Consumer Policy and Engagement, provides strategic leadership in the Division’s stakeholder engagement activities across disability populations and sectors including MH/DD/SUS service recipients, providers, advocacy organizations and community stakeholders.  The team’s work reflects the value the Division places on keeping stakeholders informed and engaged as thought leaders, decision makers, and value-adds to the DMH/DD/SUS system design, operations, and evaluation.

What We Do

  • Training, technical assistance, education, and information sharing that benefit whole communities and is focused on empowering people through self-advocacy, self-determination, self-direction, and successful recovery;
  • Community outreach and engagement in policy feedback and systems evaluation, by using a socio-ecological framework that fosters community engagement at individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, systems, and policy levels;
  • Provide state staff support to State and Local Consumer and Family Councils and other MH/DD/SUS advisory committees and workgroups;
  • Education and guidance to community stakeholders on community inclusion and successfully engaging persons with MH/DD/SUD lived experience; 
  • Network linkages and recruitment of community members with lived MH/DD/SUD experience, their families and advocates to boards and committees at state and local levels across disability populations;
  • Leadership and management to organizations that are serving and supporting veterans and enlisted military members and their families including managing and hosting the Governor’s Working Group on Veterans, Service Members and their Families;
  • Consultation on funding opportunities and goals to support programs designed to meet the objectives of DHHS, the Division of MH/DD/SUS and the NC General Assembly related to improving outcomes for persons with MH/DD/SUD;
  • Collaboration and advising internal and external stakeholders on best practices for developing MH/DD/SUD policy, service, and program decisions supported by consumer empowerment and community engagement practices and principles;
  • Public forums and community outreach events including state and local initiatives to provide public awareness of DHHS and DMH/DD/SUS efforts;
  • Health communication in the areas of MH/DD/SUD development and dissemination.

Who We Serve 

The CEE team identifies as public servants and stewards of state resources.  The primary population segments that we serve and tailor our programs and services to are: people with lived MH/DD/SUD experience who are recipients of our state’s public MH/DD/SUS services and are represented across disabilities and special populations including veterans, children, adults and aging populations; and MH/DD/SUS advocacy and peer organizations.   The secondary population segment that we serve are MH/DD/SUS policymakers at federal, state and local levels; providers; PHPS; LME/MCOs and other state agencies including the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Safety, Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, and the Department of Labor. 

Our Guiding Principles  

  • Engaging in the community in a way that communication flows both ways, from the department through the division, through our team and back.
  • Recognize our own blind spots and biases—approach all communities from a culturally inclusive way not paternalistic and place of privilege (i.e. insiders at DHHS).
  • Person-centered and people focused.
  • Innovation and evidence-based driven.

Community Engagement and Training
Local Management Entity - Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCO) Directory
Community Engagement and Empowerment Team Forms

Community Engagement & Empowerment Team
Phone: 984-236-5300
Toll Free: 1-855-262-1945