Dec. 8, 2016
Contact: Alan M. Wolf
RALEIGH, N.C. – UNC Health Care recently opened 12 additional inpatient beds at Wake County’s WakeBrook campus, increasing the capacity to provide much-needed care for behavioral health patients.
UNC WakeBrook is the behavioral health facility owned by Wake County and operated by UNC Health Care since 2013. The facility, at 111 Sunnybrook Road, Raleigh, provides a wide range of services for patients with behavioral health and substance abuse disorders. In the past 18 months, the facility has treated more than 10,000 people, and is nearly always full.
“There is a tremendous need for access to quality mental health care in Wake County,” said newly elected Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Sig Hutchinson. “The UNC WakeBrook expansion is an important step in helping patients who need it most. We are thrilled this facility is expanding to serve more people in our community.”
With the 12 new beds opening, UNC WakeBrook now has 28 inpatient beds, which are almost always full. A team of licensed professionals provide patient-centered care in the unit, working to help patients develop new coping skills and a safe plan for leaving the hospital as soon as possible. One goal is to help ease the strain on hospital emergency departments, which aren’t the most appropriate places for behavioral health patients to get the best care.
“There continues to be a serious gap in care for this population, often leading them to emergency rooms where physicians can’t provide the necessary level of care,” said Dr. Jack Naftel, vice chairman of the UNC Department of Psychiatry. “UNC WakeBrook is working to close that gap and provide a continuum of services catering to this underserved population.”
In Wake County, more than 65,000 people suffer from a serious mental illness. UNC Health Care provides care and services in Wake County at WakeBrook and through various other outpatient and support programs that are run through UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
“Having UNC open 12 additional beds on the UNC Wakebrook campus is a dream come true for people living with mental illness and their families in Wake County,” said Ann Akland, an advocate for behavioral health patients with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Wake County. “The beds will reduce the long wait times for more people who are experiencing a mental health crisis, and they will mean fewer people will be restrained and transported outside the county for mental health care.”
“Best of all, having these beds in Wake County means that people will receive excellent, compassionate care from specialists from the UNC School of Medicine and the UNC Department of Psychiatry who respect and understand people experiencing the most serious mental illnesses. We sincerely appreciate the investment UNC has made in our community,” Akland added.
Through a strong partnership, UNC Health Care-funded and Wake County-led construction on the expansion project. The county owns the WakeBrook campus and provides UNC Health Care with financial support to assist with the overall cost of providing services.
WakeBrook offers a range of services for patients: crisis and assessment services, inpatient services, facility-based crisis services, alcohol and drug detoxification, and primary care. WakeBrook is located at 111 Sunnybrook Road, Raleigh. For more information, call (984) 974-4800 or visit here.
About UNC Health Care
UNC Health Care is a state entity, based in Chapel Hill, and operates as part of the University of North Carolina system. Originally established Nov. 1, 1998, by N.C.G.S. 116-37, UNC Health Care currently comprises UNC Hospitals and its provider network, the clinical programs of the UNC School of Medicine, and a network of affiliate hospitals and hospital systems across the state.