Advocates: Give mental health community a say in Dix Park
Posted March 24, 2014
Advocates of Raleigh’s mental health community are calling on the city to include them in Dix Park discussions.
Several advocates, many part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), have addressed Raleigh City Council and asked that the park continue to serve those in the area with mental illness.
“Please include the mentally ill in your plans for Dix Hill,” said Ellen Betts Clemmer, a former social worker who worked at the now-closed hospital for the mentally ill. She asked that the city consider a place for outpatient services, a clubhouse where patients can interact and affordable housing.
In 2010, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to close Dorothea Dix Hospital, saying that its aging buildings were no longer suitable for patients. The hospital officially closed its doors in 2012.
The city itself doesn’t offer any mental health services, which are left up to the state and Wake County to administer.
“I appreciate and I honor your advocacy for the fragile in our community,” Mayor Nancy McFarlane said after the advocates spoke.
McFarlane said negotiations between the state and the city for a new lease are still ongoing and no plans for the 325-acre property have been solidified.
WRAL.com has a content sharing partnership with Raleigh Public Record, a non-profit online news organization focused on coverage of Raleigh and local government.