Georgia Department of Human Resources establishes new office for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

June 16, 2005

ATLANTA – Last year, the Department of Human Resources (DHR) Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases (MHDDAD) served more than 40,000 children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbances. In Georgia, one in every five youth is impacted by mental health problems. As the need for mental health services continues to increase, DHR is taking new measures including the creation of a new office for child and adolescent mental health.

“Georgia’s mental health system is changing and that includes how DHR will serve our most vulnerable population,” states Gwen Skinner, Director for MHDDAD. “What we know for fact is that children are best served in the communities where they are connected to a broad range of services. The principle objective for the new office for Children and Adolescent Mental Health is to build systems of care. Each child with a serious emotional disorder will be served in effective, coordinated, comprehensive, community-based services under systems of care. This is the most effective way to keep our children healthy and successful.”

A five-year Child and Adolescent State Infrastructure Grant will also support the mission of MHDDAD’s office of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the grant will be instrumental in enhancing Georgia’s a community-based mental health system.

Among many enhanced and new community–based services, MHDDAD will open the state’s first crisis stabilization program for children in Savannah this year.

For information, contact:
Kenya Bello; 404.657.1389

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