Carter Center Mental Health Forum to Address How to Improve Georgia’s Mental Health Care Systems, New State Funding, and Boosting Care for Older Adults

ATLANTA — Recommendations on how to accelerate improvements in Georgia’s mental health system and meet the remaining obligations from the settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice will be addressed during the 24th annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum on May 10, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Carter Center. This event is open to the public, but registration is preferred. View agenda »

The Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum, established in 1995, is held each May to address timely mental health policy issues facing the state. Service providers in Georgia, policymakers, advocates, media, and consumers of mental health services are invited to participate in discussions on diverse topics.

For the past seven years, the Georgia forum updated local stakeholders on the 2010 settlement agreement and the 2015 settlement agreement extension between the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Georgia. The state has made much progress in meeting the obligations in the settlement agreement extension but remains short of full compliance. Both the accomplishments and the areas that still need work will be discussed in a panel with Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Ms. Judy Fitzgerald.

One panel will discuss ways to improve Georgia’s ability to ensure equal access to mental health care and addiction treatment, following a 2018 report on national mental health parity in which Georgia received a failing grade. An additional panel will focus on mental health care gaps for the growing older adult population in Georgia and potential solutions to address them.

Statewide efforts and funding to bolster school-based behavioral health will be discussed. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently pledged an additional $8.4 million to the Apex program, a program started in 2015 by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities that pays for mental health providers to be available in schools.

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