Lawmakers vow to fight Taunton State Hospital closing


Lawmakers opposed to a plan to close a state psychiatric hospital in Taunton say they’ll file legislation to block the shutdown and require an independent study of the entire Massachusetts mental health system.

The promise came Thursday as a large crowd, including workers and families of patients at Taunton State Hospital, rallied at the Statehouse to save the 169-bed facility that has operated for more than 150 years.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration announced in January it would shift most patients to a new psychiatric hospital that is scheduled to open in Worcester this summer.

The administration says no jobs will be lost.

But critics of the plan say it will put more pressure on an already overburdened mental health system, and force families to travel long distances to visit their loved ones.


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