28th Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum on May 14

Forum to Include Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp, who will Address 988 Suicide Crisis Line Rollout, and Mental Health Services for Youth and Georgia’s Veterans

ATLANTA — The Carter Center will convene its 28th Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum on May 14, 2024. This free, in-person and virtual event explores pressing mental health issues in Georgia and the rest of the country (see below for agenda and how to participate in person or online). This forum will emphasize inclusivity, equity, and resilience in mental health advocacy. Through engaging, bipartisan discussions and thought-provoking presentations, participants will explore critical issues, confront systemic barriers, and chart a path forward toward a more effective mental health system for all Georgians.

“This year, our Georgia Mental Health Forum is especially meaningful – not only due to last year’s passing of our inspirational founder, former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter, but also because we are collectively increasing our resolve to take concrete action to bring mental health care access to all Georgians,” said Carter Center Mental Health Program Director Dr. Eve Byrd. “We’re working to eliminate barriers to mental health care access, move forward crisis response, and help hold key stakeholders accountable to implement Georgia mental health parity laws. Children and families have an urgent need for prevention, intervention, and targeted treatment and services.”

Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp joins a panel with Department of Behavioral Health and Disabilities Commissioner Kevin Tanner. In Georgia, suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth ages 15-24, and in 2020, 45% of Georgia’s children aged 3–17 had difficulty accessing or were unable to access needed mental/behavioral health treatment and counseling. Other panels will address the importance of school-based behavioral health in communities and  a plan for serving children in diverse communities.

Those attending the event in person can view the Georgia Comfort for Recovery Quilt, handcrafted by members of R2ISE to Recovery, a nonprofit recovery community organization in partnership with the Michael C. Carlos Museum. The Comfort of Recovery quilt embodies the transformative power of connection, recovery, and storytelling.

Attendees can also observe an onsite demonstration of how puppies and young service dogs are trained to mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

How to View and Participate in the May 14 Georgia Mental Health Forum:

  • In person at The Carter Center from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. ET | Click here to register.
  • Address: The Cecil B. Day Chapel, The Carter Center, One Copenhill, 453 John Lewis Freedom Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
  • View online from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET | Click here to view.
  • Participants and viewers are encouraged to join the conversation on X (formerly Twitter) using #GeorgiaMentalHealth and tag @CarterCenter.

The Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum, established in 1995, is held each May to address timely mental health policy issues facing the state. Consumers, service providers, policymakers, advocates, and media from across Georgia are invited to participate in open discussions on diverse, pressing topics.

More about the Center’s Mental Health Program is here, and a timeline of Rosalynn Carter’s 50 years of mental health advocacy is here. Our 2024 Journalism Resource Guide on Mental Health Reporting is here. The guide provides an update on recommended language and expert tips for language around mental health and suicide.

View the agenda (PDF) »

Media: Media wishing to attend the Georgia Forum must RSVP to Rennie Sloan at rennie.sloan@cartercenter.org.

Resources: If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or is in crisis, call, or text 9-8-8 for assistance in accessing support and services.

Contact: In Atlanta, Rennie Sloan, rennie.sloan@cartercenter.org