After some delay, Wake County Commissioners have approved a lease with UNC Health Care to take over operations at WakeBrook Recovery Center. The county is working with other counties in the area to create a regional mental health organization as required by a state law that took effect last year.
The expanded recovery center will have eight crisis and assessment beds, 32 facility-based crisis beds for substance abuse and mental health services and 16 inpatient psychiatric beds.
Commissioners and UNC Health Care officials partnered in October to provide mental health services at the county-owned WakeBrook Campus.
The county entered into the agreement because its new local management entity, Alliance Behavioral Health Care, provides funding to WakeBrook. Legally, the county can't be a provider and a funder.
The county will take over as a landlord, leasing the campus to UNC Health Care rent free for 10 years starting in February. Wake County will also provide UNC Health Care with funding for maintenance and operations.
The campus will need to be upfitted at a cost of almost $1.2 million. The county and UNC Health Care will split the cost evenly.
UNC Health Care is still working on getting the proper license for the 16 inpatient psychiatric beds, but officials expect that the paperwork will be ready by the beginning of the summer.
UNC Health Care will begin the first of three transition phases Feb. 1. Daymark Recovery Services will continue operating at WakeBrook throughout the transition until UNC Health Care's staff is fully in place.
The expanded service is geared toward keeping people in crisis out of emergency rooms, where staff are not often trained or equipped to handle them.
Emergency rooms will be able to discharge patients to WakeBrook where they will receive more specialized care.