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NC Department of Health and Human Services
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About Dorothea Dix Hospital

Our Mission and Goals

Our mission is to provide inpatient psychiatric treatment and care to consumers with severe and persistent mental illness who cannot be treated at the level of care in their local community.
The goals of Dorothea Dix Hospital are as follows.

  • Continuous improvements in clinical service delivery
  • Staff retention and operational integrity
  • Budget and salary reserve management

Accreditations and Affiliations

Dorothea Dix Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the national voluntary accrediting agency for hospitals, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Federal Government.
We are affiliated with:

  • Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
  • Campbell University
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Duke University
  • East Carolina University
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Meredith College
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Shaw University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wake Technical Community College


Read the history of the Dorothy Dix Hospital, including a biography of its namesake, Dorothea Dix, and information about the Dix campus cemetery.

Our Organization

Adult Psychiatric Division

Adults, ages 18 to 60, are admitted to the Adult Admission units located in the McBryde Building .
Treatment in our Adult Psychiatric Program begins with a comprehensive assessment of the individual's physical, psychological, social and vocational needs. Specialized care addresses a wide range of illnesses including:

  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Affective Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • Personality Disorders

Almost all patients are discharged from the Adult Admissions Units. A few patients require inpatient treatment more than 90 days and are transferred to longer term treatment units.

Clinical Research Division

Adults, age 18 to 65, may be admitted directly or transferred to the Clinical Research Division for participation in ongoing studies focused on understanding the causes of schizophrenia, the development of new pharmacological treatment approaches to this disorder. Individuals who are interested participating and who meet study criteria will be admitted to Clinical Research Division located in the Edgerton Building , where they will voluntarily begin extensive evaluation and treatment within a research setting. Often, this treatment and the participant's stay at the unit is free of charge. The Clinical Research Division is a field site associated with the Mental Health Clinical Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Interested individuals and family members are encouraged to call the Clinical Research Division at 919-733-5227 for up-to-date information regarding current studies and are invited to take a tour of the unit.

Adolescent Division

Many teens experience overwhelming tensions and anxiety. Peer pressure, along with the tremendous physical and emotional changes that occur, can lead to behavioral problems at home or in school. Dorothea Dix Hospital offers a responsive, caring program for youths, ages 12 to 18, with emotional or behavioral problems including:

  • Adolescent and family disturbance
  • Suicidal disorders
  • Attention deficit disorders
  • Adolescent depression
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Sexual abuse
  • Childhood schizophrenia

The two treatment units for adolescents are located in Williams and Ashby Buildings . Each unit has a program of treatment best suited to the adolescent's individual needs. We offer a therapeutic and structured setting with staff who are specially trained in working with teenagers. We provide an individualized schedule which includes individual and family therapy, school, and recreation. Our nursing staff work closely with each patient to set and achieve treatment goals and to help teens learn appropriate behaviors and skills for coping with the pressures of adolescent life. Our social work staff work closely with families.

Geropsychiatry Division

Adults, ages 60 and over, are admitted to the Geriatric Admissions unit located in the McBryde Building. We offer a specialized short-term evaluation and treatment program (usually less than 60 days). Patients who require longer treatment stay in a rehabilitation area of the Division, depending on personal assistance needs with bathing, feeding, dressing and awareness of surroundings.
We provide a comprehensive evaluation and treatment program which addresses many problems faced by older adults including:

  • Severe and persistent mental illness
  • Cognitive disorders including ¬†Alzheimer's disease
  • Mood disorders
  • Biopsychosocial changes associated with aging
  • Psychiatric illness complicated by medical problems
  • Placement issues
  • Family coping
  • Grief and bereavement issues

Our goal is to help patients achieve a level of functioning which will allow the return to a home setting or placement in a group care setting. We encourage family members to maintain close contact with patients and staff and to provide valuable input for the treatment and recovery process of their loved ones.

Medical Division

The Medical Division of Dorothea Dix Hospital provides consultation and referral service for neurological, medical, and surgical care for patients in the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse facilities, and inmates of the Department of Corrections. The goal of the program is to provide comprehensive medical care congruent with psychiatric or habilitative care.
Outpatient Services include:

  • Telephone consultation available 24 hours a day.
  • Inpatient/outpatient clinic (examination, diagnostic evaluation and treatment in the areas of Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology, ENT, Orthopedic, Dermatology, Neurology, Oral Surgery, Urology, Podiatry and Gynecology).
  • 24-Hour observation

Inpatient Services include:

  • Medical Unit (This unit provides care for patients with acute and chronic medical conditions).

Support Services include:

  • Pharmacy
  • Radiology
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech pathology
  • Medical laboratory services
  • Social work services
  • MIS
  • Dental clinic
  • Purchasing
  • Hospital management (business office)

Forensic Division

The Forensic Division provides consultative and evaluative services regarding the capacity to proceed to the judicial system of North Carolina . The Division is responsible for the evaluation of both male and female patients who have criminal charges. These patients are referred to the Forensic Psychiatry Division by the Court. Short-term psychiatric and medical treatment for patients during the evaluation process are provided. A comprehensive report of the multidisciplinary ream findings and recommendations are made to the court. The Division also provides consultation and education to other Divisions of Dorothea Dix Hospital, the community, mental health centers, the Department of Correction and other agencies concerned with criminal issues in North Carolina and nationally. Ready NC Connect NC