LELA 101: Top 10 Primer: Understanding the Public Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse System in NC

The on-demand recording is now available for registration. Click HERE to register. 

According to the National Institute for Mental Illness, almost 20% of the US adult population suffers from a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. For the adolescent ages of 13-18, that number rises to almost 50%.  Individuals and family members in need of help often call on their local elected officials when they are searching for help, and in this area of need, they’re often just  looking for a door – a local place where they can walk in and get help.  Where are these doors in your communities? 

An important role for local elected officials is to simply know enough about how the publicly funded system is structured to be able to respond when someone asks you for help.  You want to know how your town or county agencies can and do often affect outcomes for people with mental health needs.  These issues affect the quality of life in your communities, and often, the doors people find are to your Police Department, the emergency room at the hospital, the homeless shelter, or even the public school nurse, in the case of adolescents.

In this 75-minute interactive program, SOG faculty member Mark Botts will lead participants through a laymen’s primer on the top ten things you need to know about these programs as a local elected official.  Questions addressed will include:

  • What is my role as a local elected official?
  • What services are available for people who have needs in these areas?
  • Where do people go for help? Is there a local “door”?
  • What is an LME? What do they do? Where are they located?
  • Who is in charge? What is the governance structure?
  • What should I do when a family member calls me wanting or needing help?

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners provides cost offsets for county elected officials to attend LELA courses. For information on this discount please click the link below.

CEU1.25 hrs
There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.


County and Municipal Government in North Carolina: Chapter 40, "Mental Health Services", by Mark Botts


10A NCAC 26C .0702 COUNTY REQUEST TO DISENGAGE FROM A LOCAL MANAGEMENT ENTITY-MANAGED CARE ORGANIZATION (a) A county seeking to disengage from an LME-MCO shall provide written notice of its intent to disengage from



The Lingo of Mental Disabilities in NC

The words that describe the different kinds of mental disabilities can be confounding for laymen, and the terminology for the organizational structures are equally confusing.  In this podcast Mark Botts, SOG faculty member who specializes in this field of law, helps make sense of the “alphabet soup” as he talks with Kevin Leonard, Executive Director of the NC Association of County Commissioners.  


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Dale Zuckert

Assistant Registrar
For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

Lisa Sheffield

Team Lead; Management, Administration, and Leadership Group
Associate Professor of Public Law and Government
Manager of Elected Official Programming, Center for Public Leadership and Governance