This year was great! Watch this video!

43rd Annual Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health
January 30th, 2021

(presented virtually)
Download a copy of the Program

View Pictures from this Year’s Event
& Mental Health After Party

Speakers and Panel

A Message from the Governor

Roy Cooper


Senator Mike Woodard
(D-District 22) Durham, Granville, & Person

State of the State

Dr. Mandy Cohen
Secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Kody Kinsley
Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, NCDHHS

Donna Carrington
Executive Director, Community Empowerment Fund


Rep. Carla Cunningham
2021 Legislative Champion on Mental Health Award

Legislative Panel Discussion with Rose Hoban

Sen. Jim Burgin (R-District 12) Harnett, Johnston, Lee
Rep. Carla Cunningham (D-District 106) Mecklenburg
Rep. Pat B. Hurley (R-District 70) Randolph
Rep. Marcia Morey  (D-District 30) Durham
Rep. Robert T. Reives II (D-District 54) Chatham, Durham


Be sure to visit all of our Sponsor Pages!




This year’s legislative breakfast represents a call to action for comprehensive mental health care that addresses the inequities of our health care system and ensures a commitment to care for the most vulnerable individuals of our population.

The Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health Planning Committee met to consider our options for presenting a meaningful event. Even threat of snow and ice, and a pandemic could not stop the Legislative Breakfast after 43 years! * 2020 has shown us many critical issues that impact our lives. We need to come together, continuing our advocacy for the people and families impacted by mental illness. We need to strengthen our political capital by maintaining and rebuilding the safety nets of our communities. Therefore, we could not cancel. We decided to reinvent the Breakfast virtually. We hope this will allow us to increase attendance across North Carolina, offer a speaker of national renown, increase participation from legislators in the farthest regions of our state, and demonstrate an overall sense of camaraderie and resilience with the populations we serve.

Please participate in the 43rd Legislative Breakfast and join a morning of conversations that reflect upon nearly a year of managing mental health services during the pandemic. What have we learned?  How can we build a better health care system that addresses the social injustices made transparent during the pandemic? How can legislators, community mental health advocates, mental health practitioners and providers work together to build a system where communities of color and individuals living in poverty have equitable access to mental health care?

Join us in a dialogue about these important questions and potential solutions to ensure that individuals with co-occurring conditions who are at highest risk for COVID-19 and other diseases become the first, rather than the last to receive mental health services. How can gaps in mental health services, brought into vivid light by the pandemic, inform mental health legislation, and open pathways to comprehensive care?

This year the Legislative Breakfast committee invites you to “rise up” and echo a call to action to support a 2021 statewide transformation of mental and physical health services that prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable and creates systems of care that address ongoing and equal access to mental health services.

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For Questions About The Event, email:


Our Mission

The mission of the Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health is to educate our communities including elected officials about mental health issues that impact North Carolina.

*A Brief History of the Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health

The Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health began around 1978 in Orange County, organized first by the Mental Health Association of Orange County, later joined by NAMI Orange. The purpose of the event was to bring community conversation to statewide issues concerning treatment services, service gaps, and overall needs to improve outcomes of people living with mental illness, and their loved ones. In an effort to broaden the reach of the event, NAMI Durham joined to reach Durham County legislators and community.

The early years of the Legislative Breakfast focused on legislators attending from Orange, Person, Chatham and Durham counties. Ten (10) years ago, event organizers decided to expand participation beyond those counties, and increase attendance from legislators and communities far beyond the original OPC-D region. That is a testament to the dedication of the organizing committee that exists today and continues to grow.

Thanks to Julie Bailey, former Chair, Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health Chair, for providing this information.

If you have additional information, photos, or programs about the early years of the Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health, we’d love for you to share it.