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Mental-health advocacy group closes

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PJ staff report

RALEIGH, N.C. – With its accreditation revoked and its access to Medicaid reimbursements cut off, the Mental Health Association in North Carolina has closed up shop, The News & Observer reported July 30.

The group announced in a statement July 30 that it was “unable to meet its financial commitments” and will be “working to wind up its affairs and close.”

Founded in 1939, the association was the state’s oldest and most prominent mental-health advocacy organization and one of North Carolina’s largest providers of housing and services for the mentally ill.

Its group homes and treatment programs, which are located throughout the state, are being transferred to Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina.

The association’s financial troubles came to light in May, when news reports said it faced more than $1.5 million in liens from the IRS for unpaid payroll taxes.

Apparently, the organization had faced deep financial problems for years that had been hidden from many employees and board members, the News & Observer says.

The association’s former executive director, John Tote, accepted a position in May as head of the state’s mental-health system, but withdrew a few days later after the organization’s tax problems came to light.

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