Nearly 600 to be laid off from Ala. Mental Health Dept.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health is laying off 582 workers across the state.

That includes some 400 workers at Partlow Developmental Center in Tuscaloosa. The department had announced earlier that Partlow would close later this year.

Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh announced the latest layoffs. She blamed the loss of federal stimulus money.

Department spokesman John Ziegler said that in addition to Partlow, jobs would be lost at the department's central office, at Greil Memorial Psychiatric Hospital in Montgomery, at Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa, at Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa and at Searcy Hospital in Mount Vernon.

Zeigler said services provided by the department would not be affected. He said the department has begun sending out notices to employees being laid off.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)