Greil Mental Hospital set to close

Published: Jul. 23, 2012 at 4:38 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM CDT
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© Commissioner Reddoch addresses employees of Greil Mental Hospital Monday.
© Commissioner Reddoch addresses employees of Greil Mental Hospital Monday.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery area's main facility for treating mentally ill patients is about to close its doors to the community. Officials with the Alabama Department of Mental Health say Greil Memorial Psychiatric Hospital will close on August 31.

A news conference regarding the facility's fate was held Monday morning. Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Jim Reddoch addressed the facility's employees during that meeting.

While the closure of Greil and Searcy, a second mental health facility, was announced this past April, the closing date of Greil was made official only Monday. The closing date for Searcy is still unknown.

A cost saving plan was put into place earlier this year that will result in the closure of these two mental mental health hospitals. The state maintains six such facilities.

Per the Olmstead vs. L.C U.S. Supreme Court decision, ADMH is moving patients and consumers from traditional hospitals to community-based care. That decision states that individuals with mental disabilities have the right to live in the community rather than in institutions.

ADMH says that even with this Supreme Court decision, it is important to note that not ever patient of Greil will be placed in the community. Some individuals will need to stay in a hospital, and the state is working to transfer those patients to state hospitals.

Greil serves 62 patients and employs 119 workers. The state says it is working to help personnel  find new employment as the closure deadline nears.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

This story updated to show two facilities (not four) to close as part of a cost saving plan.