The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall on Thursday, January 25, from 6 to 7 p.m., to discuss how people can support and improve their mental well-being, where to find resources, when to reach out for help and how to support loved ones who are struggling or in crisis.

Event participants include:

  • Kelly Crosbie, MSW, LCSW, Director, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services, NCDHHS  
  • Lillian M. Davis, Director of Public Policy, National Alliance on Mental Illness, NC
  • Tracy Kennedy, Executive Director, 988 REAL Crisis Center  
  • Cherene Caraco, CEO and Chief Global Strategist, Promise Resource Network 

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the impacts of mental health on every community in North Carolina. Rates of depression and anxiety have nearly quadrupled and around one in four adults navigate these conditions. Suicide has become the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 40 in the state.

Mental health is just as important as physical health and requires preventative care, monitoring and management, as well as open conversations on how to find resources and care.

Fireside chat and tele-town hall panelists will discuss the following:

  • Ways to strengthen and improve mental well-being
  • Where to find mental health information and resources
  • How to support a loved one who is struggling or in crisis
  • When to reach out for additional help and how to find support

More than 95,000 North Carolinians have used the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The service is available 24/7 to anyone struggling with mental health, suicidal thoughts or substance use, as well as those seeking help for a loved one in crisis. People can call or text 988, or chat online at, to connect with a live counselor and receive free, confidential support in English or Spanish. Specialized services are also available for veterans and current service members, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and LGBTQI+ youth.

The fireside chat will stream live from the NCDHHS FacebookTwitter and YouTube accounts, where viewers can submit questions. The event also includes a tele-town hall, which invites people by phone to listen in and submit questions. People can also dial into the event by calling 855-756-7520 Ext. 100652#.