About Our Work

Our core mission is to assist people with serious mental illness progress in their recovery, which includes assuming valued life roles. To this end, we focus on meeting individuals’ needs by providing strengths-based, person-centered assessment, planning, and delivery of evidence-based medical and psychosocial services.

Our focus is on wellness, treating the whole person with integrated care. We strive to offer a continuum of care within our Center with all services encompassing a multidisciplinary team approach. We strongly value the service recipient and their natural supports as experts in their own right, and are included as part of the treatment team.

Our scope of practice is not limited to what we offer in the Center, or what we currently understand as best practices. We lead and engage in research that continues to advance our understanding and technology of the best practices for individuals with serious mental illness. We train students and assist other service providers in their efforts to implement best practices through training, consultation, and technical assistance.

Support the Center

Center for Excellence in Mental Health Fund  

Life with severe mental illness can be better. Those of us at the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health believe it can be healthy, rewarding, and free of stigma. Help us achieve our vision by making a gift to our annual fund. Your donation will enable us to continue offering innovative recovery programs, train new and existing mental health service providers, and conduct forward-thinking research.


Support Our Programs

Arts for Life: UNC Brushes with Life Arts Program

Healing properties exist within art, within the process of creating art, and within the empowerment of displaying it. UNC Brushes with Life enables clients to explore visual art, poetry, film and music, instilling within them a sense of pride and bolstering their confidence. Your support will provide a stimulating environment to create and a gallery space to display their work, helping our clients expand their creative talents and further their independence as working artists.



UNC PAWS is a personal support dog (PSD) program that provides therapeutic support to our clients through companionship, affection, and positive self-regard. Using the power of man’s best friend, we hope to help people living with serious mental health conditions find purpose through pets. A gift to UNC PAWS helps the program remove dogs from local shelters, become personal support dogs, and provide therapeutic support to clients.


UNC Farm at Penny Lane

Six miles from the UNC Chapel Hill campus, the UNC Farm at Penny Lane sits on a nearly 40-acre property in Pittsboro, N.C. Current programs include Horticultural Therapy, a farmer-led gardening group, yoga, cooking classes, and community farm workdays. Most of the food grown at the farm is provided to individuals receiving services through the Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. With help from donors, the property is being developed as a respite with therapeutic programs and activities for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, supporting our mission betters their lives.


 To make a donation by mail, please send a check to the address below. Make check payable to “The Medical Foundation of N.C., Inc” and, in the memo line, please note the fund you wish to support.

The Medical Foundation of N.C., Inc.
PO Box 1050
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-9981

Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your support, please contact:

Edward Mira Binanay
Director of Development – Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health
919.962.1989 (office)