Gov. Beverly Perdue brushed aside her critics’ concerns last week by pushing through a plan that leases the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus to the city of Raleigh for use as parkland. Some Republican leaders called on Perdue to defer a decision to Governor-Elect Pat McCrory, but the resulting agreement preserves that open space, serving that community and the long-term interests of residents
That resolves one significant part of the infrastructure once dedicated to serving state residents living with mental illness, but it does little to resolve North Carolina’s continued inability to provide the care that population needs and deserves. Budget cuts and a failed reform effort have severely damaged the mental health system and Raleigh should dedicate itself to rebuilding.
Under a plan approved last week by the Council of State and the Raleigh City Council, the 325 acres remaining from the Dix Hospital campus will be leased to the city for $500,000 annually. After 150 years of state ownership, the facilities that once served thousands of patients suffering various forms of mental illness will be converted into parkland, to serve residents for decades to come.
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