Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The work of this task force focused on the 548,000 North Carolinian’s with substance dependence or abuse and the 1.4 million North Carolinians reporting serious psychological distress over the last year. The Task force addressed issues from a global perspective and then focused discussion and recommendations on the needs of adolescents and older adults.

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Task Force Leadership

All Members


Angela Bryant


North Carolina General Assembly

Courtney Cantrell, PhD

Director, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services

North Carolina Department of Human Services

Josh Dobson


North Carolina General Assembly

John Santopietro, MD, FAPA

Chief Clinical Officer of Behavioral Health

Carolinas Health System


Headshot: Berkeley Yorkery

Berkeley Yorkery, MPP

Project Director

North Carolina Institute of Medicine

Meeting Dates

June 2015 - October 2016

Task Force meeting dates, agendas, and additional materials


The NCIOM Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health had three working groups: the cross-cutting group, the adolescent group, and the older adults group. The overall Task Force addressed topics affecting the whole population, including the array of services available, workforce needs, integrated care, and telebehavioral health. The adolescent working group addressed coordination and system transition issues among organizations providing services to adolescents. The older adult working group looked specifically at the need to develop a continuum of services for the older adult population.

The Task Force is funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust with the goal of developing a vision of the ideal community-based, evidence-informed services for the prevention and treatment of mental illness and substance use disorders and a set of actionable recommendations (within 3-5 years) that could help communities move towards that system.