North Carolina is on the brink of taking a major step to improve care for people with mental illnesses. On Thursday, the House concurred with changes made by a Senate committee to a bill, House Bill 973, that requires that insurance companies cover bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia and three other mental illnesses the same way that they treat physical illnesses. All other metal health conditions will be covered for up to 30 inpatient/outpatient days and 30 office visits. Mental health parity has been debated in the North Carolina Legislature for 15 years and if Gov. Mike Easley signs this bill, the state will join 36 others that already offer some form of mental health parity.