MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law an overhaul of the state's mental health system.
Wednesday's bill signing was the culmination of a process that got underway in earnest after Tropical Storm Irene in late August flooded and forced the closing of the Vermont State Hospital.
The package Shumlin signed calls for the 54-bed hospital in Waterbury to be replaced by a new 25-bed facility in Berlin, which could shrink to 16 beds depending on federal funding issues. The plan also calls for expanded psychiatric units in Brattleboro and Rutland and smaller and less restrictive community placements for people in need of mental health services around the state.
Revamping the mental health system has been seen as a key piece of Vermont's recovery from Irene.