Description and Activities

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health committee seeks to increase public awareness of mental illness and addiction and access to mental health and substance abuse services.  This group contributes to the annual Recovery Celebration and advocates on local issues.

All Substance Use/Mental Health committee meetings are open to the public.


Over the next three years, the committee plans to:

  • Address suicide prevention among Hispanic and LGBT youth
  • Partner with faith-based organizations to meet their substance use/mental health training needs
  • Advocate for naloxone awareness
  • Developing a list of substance use/mental health resources for health care providers

The committee’s 3-year Action Plan provides the details. Find out what has been accomplished in the SU/MH committee action plan progress update.

Leadership and Membership

The current committee co-chairs are:

To learn more or to join the committee, contact Marissa Mortiboy, the Partnership Coordinator, at or 919-560-7833.


The Substance Abuse & Mental Health committee meets on the third Thursday of the month from 3:00-4:30 pm at the Human Services Building at 414 E. Main St. in Durham. Meetings generally include learning sessions on substance abuse issues, advocacy updates, and updates from the various working groups.

Meetings are open to the public. Community members are encouraged to attend. You can find all meetings on the calendar.


January agenda minutes

February agenda minutes

March agenda minutes

April agenda minutes

May agenda minutes

June agenda minutes

July agenda minutes

August agenda minutes

September agenda minutes

October agenda minutes

November agenda

December No meeting

Past Committee Accomplishments

  • Working with the Gun Safety Team, provision of evidence-based gun safety and suicide prevention training to youth
  • Baseline study of substance abuse in Durham County
  • Organizing the Recovery Celebration for five years
  • Screening of Brushes with Life at the Carolina Theater  Local filmmaker Philip Brubaker has created a documentary exploring the UNC Brushes with Life project and its themes of mental illness, creation, and hope.View the trailer of Brushes with Life. Read more about the UNC Schizophrenia Treatment and Evaluation Program (STEP), which hosts the Brushes with Life patient art gallery
  • Community Mental Health Fair for Durham County residents to learn about and access community resources, including those around mental health, substance abuse, housing, social services, job training, and financial planning.
  • Made a financial contribution to the Threshold Wall of Hope mural

Publications and Reports of the Committee

Baseline Study of Substance Abuse in Durham, 2007. This report is a thorough examination of the breadth and characteristics of substance abuse in our county.

Community Referral Directory. The Substance Abuse Committee has collaborated with Duke University Health System’s Office of Community Relations to put together the Durham County Substance Abuse Referral Directory. It contains information about substance abuse treatment options in Durham. Please download and share it broadly throughout the community.

May 2009: Mary’s Story:  The Care Review Process in Durham

Resources Related to the Work and Mission of the Committee

Challenges in Developing Workforce:  Sustance Abuse Treatment for Spanish-speaking Consumers was a presentation given during our June 2009 meeting.

Launching a new moment for mental health (article)

Resource card of shelters, substance abuse, mental health, and women’s resources in Durham.

Mental Health Association in North Carolina, Inc