'Dismantling the Dix Legacy: The End of Compassion'

From Tom Campbell of NC Spin on his blog:

From a post titled 'Dismantling the Dix Legacy: The End of Compassion'

Leaders may call this mental health reform, believing providers closer to their homes should care for the mentally ill, but reform theories are not yet supported by proof. Noting the bungled care and wasteful expenditures of the initial reforms our lawmakers have taken the axe to mental health funding, stating we have neither the money nor the willingness to house these patients in mental hospitals.

Advocates are scratching their heads over the insane logic which says we don’t have enough money to properly fund mental health care and treatment but we can find funding to abandon the Dix campus, which houses much of the Department of Health and Human Services in buildings the state long ago paid for, and rent one million square feet of additional office space around Raleigh. The frosting on this ill-baked cake is that the state is about to “sell” these 400 acres of prime Raleigh real estate to create a public park.

Like many, my family has a mentally ill relative and can testify to the lack of treatment and facilities for them. Those without insurance and in poor circumstances are at the mercy of hospitals, assisted living and nursing homes, which have neither the trained staff nor the facilities to adequately care for them. We are dismantling the Dorothea Dix legacy and appear to have come to the end of our compassion as a society, a sad commentary of our time.

Thanks for speaking out, Tom.


The latest on the Dix Legacy and the disposition of the campus

I am not going to say a lot more about Dix, as most people seem oblivious to what it means for our state and for persons with psychiatric disabilities. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News and Observer and it (along with one from my friend Dr. Nick Stratas) appeared in today's edition (www.newsobserver.com).

What really bothers me aside from the cheerleading of the N&O is that so many politicos are concerned about building yet another "destination" park, when the City of Raleigh just spent millions of tax dollars renovating Pullen Park just across Western Blvd. from the Dix Campus. I found myself agreeing with Woodhouse of the Americans for Prosperity. He is quoted in Under the Dome today. It is rare that I find myself in agreement with Woodhouse.

I do not agree with Woodhouse's plan to put the Dix property up for bids for development. But his point that Raleigh already has 208 city parks, 8 county parks, and 3 state parks makes some sense. I do not think the site should be developed. Neither Park supporters nor Woodhouse realize how costly the demolition of the existing buildings will be due to asbsestos in their construction. Just the destruction of the main building, McBride, would cost over $10 million. And what about the liability to be assumed if construction sites include the soccer fields built over a waste dump?

I don't think NC State University officials backed off of a partnership in creation of a park on the Dix Campus without very good reasons, and I would like to know exactly what those reasons were.

Martha Brock