Mental health plan revised

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

Two of the Alabama ‘s mental hospitals will close rather than four under a new plan announced Friday by Gov. Robert Bentley.

In addition, construction will restart immediately on a new psychiatric hospital to replace Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa — a project that was put on hold while officials and others debated the future of the state’s mental health system.

Greil Memorial Psychiatric Hospital in Montgomery and Searcy Hospital in Mount Vernon are still on the chopping block, but a Sept. 30 deadline has been lifted and there isn’t a new one, Bentley said. North Alabama Regional Hospital in Decatur will remain open, as will the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility, which was slated for a later closure.

About 434 jobs will be lost under the new plan, compared to the 950 positions expected under the original plan announced in February.