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Tens of thousands of mental health patients in Alabama will have to look for new medical care on Friday when Alabama Psychiatric Services closes its doors.
ASP has more than a dozen inpatient and outpatient facilities around the state. With less than one week notice, the company announced it will close its doors because of failed negotiations with the health insurance company Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
This comes weeks after North Alabama Regional Hospital, a state-run mental hospital, announced it will be closing its doors later this summer.
So what happens to all of the patients?
Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Wanda Laird, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for Alabama, about the state of mental healthcare in Alabama — and what will happen to all of the patients.