RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new dashboard launched today focusing on improving mental health for children in North Carolina.
The Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) launched the new dashboard and praise it as a start in addressing behavioral health problems in the state.
The dashboard covers everything from ADHD to depression and substance abuse. The tool was made available as the Tar Heel state sits ranked 42 in the country for the highest prevalence and lowest access to mental health services for children.
"Our mental system system in North Carolina has been underfunded forever," Health Secretary Kody Kinsley said.
In October, NCDHHS received $835 million from the state budget targeted specifically to addressing mental health.
Kinsey said over the next two years, that money will be invested in a variety of resources.
Data on the new dashboard shows that more than 33,000 Medicaid-insurance children between the ages of 5 and 18 were diagnosed with clinical depression in 2022.
The Triangle area saw one of the highest percentages of the entire state for children visiting the emergency room for suicide or self harm.
Suicide is also now seen as the second leading cause for death in North Carolina among kids 8-18 years old.
"We know that kids do well when mental health services are provided at the right place in the right setting; when they're prevention oriented and community based," Kinsley said.