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Georgia Mental Health Forum: Move to Managed Care for Medicaid to be Examined

Note: This event is open to news media coverage, Participants and observers are by invitation only

Contact: Jon Moor, 404-420-5107

ATLANTA….Soon, Georgians will receive Medicaid services through managed care programs, and Atlantans will be among the first in the state to experience these changes. Georgia will join many other states in their efforts to cut costs, but the Carter Center Mental Health Program asks at what cost to the quality of mental health care. On Thursday, May 19, the 2005 Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum (click here for agenda) will bring together experts and policy-makers to discuss ways of safeguarding care for those with mental illnesses.

The Center's Mental Health Task Force Founder and Chair Rosalynn Carter is deeply concerned about the impact managed care will have on mentally ill Georgians. "The track records of other states' managed care programs are not reassuring. I want to urge our leaders to make sure that any new program guarantees services flexible to the consumers' changing needs, community-based supports, and access to the many new medications. When these conditions are met, most people with mental disorders are capable of managing their illnesses quite effectively. They stay at their jobs, attend school, live at home, and are productive, working citizens."

Mental Health Program Director Thom Bornemann worries, as do other advocates, that there is a mixed picture of states successfully including good mental health care in these managed care systems. "People with real needs should not be excluded from necessary services, and a full range of services must be made available. Handled well, managed care could work and offer Medicaid recipients even better choices," he says.

MEDIA NOTE: Please use above contact information for credentials and requesting interview opportunities.

This 10th annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum is collaboration among the Carter Center Mental Health Program, the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network (GMHCN), the Georgia Parent Support Network (GPSN), the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Georgia (NAMI-GA), and the National Mental Health Association of Georgia (NMHAG). This program also was developed in close collaboration with the Departments of Community Health (DCH) and Human Resources (DHR).

May is Mental Health Month: Learn More

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. To learn more about The Carter Center, please visit:

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