Lucy Lee Forney Knox, 61, a retired mental health consultant and nurse, died Thursday at Doctors Hospital after a long illness.

From 1972 until retiring in 1975, she had been a clinical specialist and consultant to patients and nurses at Saint Elizabeths Hospital. She lived in Alexandria.

Born in Washington, Miss Knox attended Goucher College and graduated from the Maryland General Hospital School of Nursing in 1938.

She received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in public and mental health from the University of Minnesota.

Miss Knox worked as a staff nurse and supervisor for the D.C. health department and in 1945 helped set up a mental program.

She left here in 1949 and during the next 10 years was mental health consultant to the North Carolina bureau of public health nursing in Charlotte and to the Oregon state board to health in Portland.

She taught public health nursing at the University of Colorado School of Nursing in Denver before returning here in 1959 as executive director of the bureau of public health nursing of Prince George's County.

From 1964 to 1967, Miss Knox was chief of the division of inspection and standards of the D.C. health department. She then was mental health consultant to the Visiting Nurses Aassociation in Washington for five years.

She was a member of the National League for Nursing, the American Nurses Association and the D.C. Public Health Association.

She is survived by a sister, Mrs. William Ruffin Cox, of New Hartford, N.Y.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society, the Heart Fund or the memorial fund of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Alexandria.