Child Behavioral Health Dashboard Launches | Eastern North Carolina Now

Press Release:

    RALEIGH     As part of its commitment to improve the health and well-being of North Carolina children and families, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced the launch of its Child Behavioral Health dashboard. The information shared through this publicly available tool will help the department as well as behavioral health providers, policymakers and stakeholders to identify and address gaps and disparities in behavioral health services for children.

    "Improving youth mental health in North Carolina must be a priority for all of us and we're measuring what matters," said NC Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. "Comprehensive data allows us to track progress and hold ourselves and each other accountable as we work to transform behavioral health in North Carolina."

    Improving child and adolescent behavioral health is a top priority for NCDHHS. North Carolina has been ranked 42nd among states with the highest prevalence and lowest access to mental health services for youth, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death for North Carolina youth ages 10-18. More than 50 children sleep in emergency departments each week due to a lack of availability or access to behavioral health services appropriate for their needs.

    The Child Behavioral Health dashboard builds a data and analysis infrastructure across child-serving sectors to provide a more complete picture of the state of behavioral health in North Carolina. By bringing together data from various systems, the dashboard enhances visibility into child behavioral health needs and allows for shared stakeholder accountability to identify and address opportunities for improvement.

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    "We are committed to improving the lives of children and families in North Carolina in a data-informed and transparent manner," said Yvonne Copeland, Director of the NCDHHS Division of Child and Family Well-Being. "Information is power. The more we and our partners know about the child behavioral health system, the better equipped we are to advocate for and provide the right solutions to meet the unique needs of children, families and communities across our state."

    The dashboard tracks key behavioral health indicators, including the percent of children who have been diagnosed with depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorder. Utilization metrics provide insight on the use of emergency departments, mobile crisis services and psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) for child behavioral health care. The dashboard also includes data on the number of children who reported feelings of sadness and hopelessness as well as babies born with low or very low birth weight - a risk factor for ADHD, depression and other behavioral health conditions later in life.

    An important feature of the new dashboard is users can drill down the data by geography, race, ethnicity, age and gender to provide additional visibility into child behavioral health in underserved populations. These data help to shine light on gaps and disparities in the provision of services across the state, enabling NCDHHS and behavioral health leaders to improve policies, increase accountability among services providers, ensure equitable allocation of resources and continue to expand access to behavioral health care in the right places at the right time.

    "The dashboard is user-friendly and accessible to everyone so behavioral health stakeholders have the necessary information to make more data-informed decisions," said NCDHHS Director for Child and Family Strategic Initiatives Hanaleah Hoberman. "This is a critical step toward achieving our vision that all children in North Carolina have the resources and services they need to thrive."

    The Child Behavioral Health dashboard is part of NCDHHS' broader strategy to improve behavioral health in North Carolina. It was informed by NCDHHS and refined through a wider group of external community partners. Metrics will continue to be updated quarterly based on data from Medicaid claims and yearly based on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. There will also be new metrics added from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) to further enhance the dashboard in the future.

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    The dashboard can be accessed via the NCDHHS Division of Child and Family Well-Being webpage, the department's dashboard webpage and the department initiatives webpage.

    If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988, or chat 988lifeline.org. You can also view the department's "Open to Care" resources at ncdhhs.gov/opentocare.


  • NC Department of Health and Human Services
  • 2001 Mail Service Center
  • Raleigh, NC 27699-2001
  • Ph: (919) 855-4840
  • news@dhhs.nc.gov

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