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WakeMed to be new provider at Raleigh mental health facility, ending months of uncertainty

News & Observer - 10/25/2023

WakeMed will take over as the provider of WakeBrook Behavioral Health Facility, a mental health care and substance use treatment provider in Raleigh, Wake County officials announced Tuesday.

The contract represents the end of a tumultuous few months for WakeBrook, after its previous provider, UNC Health, announced a breakdown of negotiations with the county meant it would discontinue its services at the end of September.

The facility, which provided inpatient care to 8,000 people in 2022, temporarily closed as it reached October without a new provider contract.

While services at WakeBrook are currently paused for renovations, a press release about the partnership said WakeMed will begin offering inpatient psychiatric services at the 28-bed unit “as quickly as reasonably possible.”

Once the campus reopens, WakeMed will work alongside RI International, a national behavioral health services nonprofit, which will provide complementary care like alcohol and drug detoxification.

“WakeMed’s historical commitment to supporting some of our most vulnerable community members…make them a unique partner for this important service,” said Wake County Commissioner Cheryl Stallings in a press release.

Last year, the health system announced it would build a new 150-bed mental health hospital in Garner, which is expected to open in 2027.

Teddy Rosenbluth covers science and health care for The News & Observer in a position funded by Duke Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.

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