NC hospital for mentally ill closing this week

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Supporters of North Carolina’s first hospital for the mentally ill say its closing this week symbolizes the state’s failure to properly treat patients with mental illness.

Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh opened in 1856 amid innovations spurred by its namesake.

The News & Observer in Raleigh reports Sunday that it’s closing amid another wave of controversial reforms that involve de-emphasizing institutional care for community treatment.

The remaining Dix patients are transferring to Central Regional Hospital in Butner. Critics say the new facility doesn’t have nearly enough beds.

The former president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Wake County says people are backing up in emergency rooms and crisis centers. Ann Arkland says Dix has kept people with mental illnesses safe and out of jails.

Credit: The Associated Press.