RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – WakeMed is helping take over critical mental health services in Wake County that temporarily shut down at the end of September.
WakeBrook Behavioral Health Facility is a leading crisis and detox center for Wake County. At the end of last month, UNC Health ended services at the facility.
Now, new providers RI International and WakeMed Health are partnering with Wake County and Alliance Health to eventually re-open the center.
WakeMed will take care of the 28-bed inpatient psychiatric unit while RI International will handle detox, crisis and assessment services.
“Our community benefits from collective, collaborative solutions that better support optimal wellness and whole-person health,” Dr. Seth Brody, WakeMed Chief Executive Physician, said. “We are committed to working alongside Wake County, Alliance and other organizations to provide the vital services that WakeBrook patients — and every member of our community — deserve.”
Brody said Wake County is in critical need of more behavioral health resources. WakeMed also plans to open a 150-bed mental health hospital in 2027.
“There has been what everyone is calling the mental health tsunami for a lot of reasons that affect all age groups,” Brody said. “There are many, many more needs beyond this.”
Alcohol and Drug Council of North Carolina advocate, and founder of Know Hope NC, Freida MacDonald, said WakeBrook’s temporary closure has created stress on crisis and recovery organizations. She regularly relied on the center to get help for people in crisis.
“I get phone calls every day,” MacDonald said. “It just made it really difficult to be able to help the callers that were from the area.”
MacDonald is encouraged to know the facility will reopen both crisis and inpatient services.
“Having it open back up just gives me all kinds of hope that we can offer more to the folks from Wake County,” MacDonald said.
RI International hopes to have its crisis and detox services open in early 2024. WakeMed is still working to put together a timeline.
There are resources for people experiencing a crisis in Wake County. Alliance Health has a list of open resources on its website. People can also call the 24/7 Alliance Health Behavioral Health Crisis Line at 919-223-4617 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, 988.