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Group Watch 3/16/12: Construction at Bryce Stops

Alabama mental health officials announced this week they have halted construction of a facility to replace Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa and are reconsidering a plan to close some existing psychiatric hospitals. The governor and his mental health commissioner told the state mental health board that they are lifting a September 30 deadline for the proposed closure of several psychiatric hospitals in the state. They emphasized their commitment to move patient care from hospitals to community settings, but will take time to develop the infrastructure, such as regional homes and crisis centers. The governor and commissioner said they are looking at whether completing the $73 million hospital in Tuscaloosa is the best use of the department’s dwindling budget.

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