Under the Dome

Mental health group NAMI says part of Dorothea Dix property should honor namesake

The North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness weighed in Friday on the sale of the 308-acre Dorothea Dix property.

A statement released by NAMI director Jack Register says the group has “great concern” over the $52 million sale announced this month that will allow Raleigh to turn the psychiatric hospital campus into a park.

“We believe that a portion of the property should be set aside to honor the history of Dorothea Dix and her commitment to supporting those with mental illness,” Register wrote. “It should continue as a monument to that important national history, as well as a center for excellence for today that is dedicated to research and training.”

NAMI stops short of opposing the park plan, but the group stressed that Gov. Pat McCrory must honor his pledge to put the $52 million sale price toward mental health.

“We agree with this sentiment, and request that strong controls be placed on the use of the money,” Register wrote. “It should not supplant existing expenditures, and the governor must ensure accountability for every penny to be used for new functions related to mental health.”

NAMI is recommending that the state create a “panel of consumers and family members” to make recommendations about where the money will go.