The mental health care system in North Carolina is in a state of crisis. More than 1,000 workers are put out of work due to injuries each year. Since December 2000, at least 82 patients have died in ways that raise questions, including homicides and suicides. Workers are incredibly underpaid, with health care technicians, the bulk of the front-line workers, earning on average less than $24,000 per year and forced to work incredible amounts of overtime in unsafe and understaffed conditions to pay their bills. North Carolina mental hospitals discharged 1,182 mental health care patients and sent them to live in homeless shelters last year. Many of them soon entered the state’s overcrowded prisons. More than $400 million in state funds were wasted in the state’s privatization efforts over the last six years.