Groundbreaking on new Behavioral Health Crisis Center in Cobb

On May 6, the Cobb Community Service Board (CSB) broke ground on a new behavioral health crisis center in Marietta. The center is expected to open by spring of 2015 and will provide easier access to high-quality services for Cobb and Douglas county residents. The center will offer 24/7 walk-in treatment and will house 24 stabilization beds, 4 transition-level beds and a 23-hour observation program.

The new center is part of Georgia’s increased focus on community-based behavioral health services. The addition of the Cobb crisis center and others across the state reflects the department’s commitment to serving people close to their homes and in the least restrictive setting possible. The facility will be supported by a $5.2 million annual investment from DBHDD.

“Thanks to funding provided for by Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Cobb CSB’s new center will serve thousands of citizens in immediate need of mental health and/or addiction treatment services,” said Cobb CSB executive director Tod Citron.

Governor Nathan Deal and Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee joined DBHDD Commissioner Berry at the groundbreaking ceremony held at 1775 County Services Parkway in Marietta.

The Cobb and Douglas Community Service Boards provide mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services to approximately 10,000 residents of Cobb and Douglas counties annually. For services call the Access Center at 770-422-0202.

Substance abuse treatment facility planned for Jasper

On May 5, Commissioner Frank Berry, flanked by State Representatives Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) and Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) and Highland Rivers Health CEO Jason Bearden, announced a new substance abuse treatment facility to open in Jasper on Aug. 1. The program will serve people across 31 counties in north Georgia.

“DBHDD and our partners at Highland Rivers are focused on building community-based services that provide easy access to high-quality care across north Georgia,” said Berry. “The department is grateful for the continued support of the Georgia General Assembly, which makes it possible for us to meet the needs of the people we serve.”

The Highland Recovery Center will open at Highland Rivers’ outpatient clinic in Pickens County, which is being renovated to accommodate the new program. Highland Recovery will feature a 20-bed residential program for men—the first of its kind in north Georgia—and an outpatient treatment facility for both men and women. The new center will serve as a companion program to Highland Rivers’ Women’s Outreach in Rome.

“Highland Rivers Health is grateful for the vision, leadership and partnership of DBHDD and their recognition of the significant need for long term addiction treatment services in north Georgia,” said Bearden. “The new Highland Recovery Center will add to the growing continuum of comprehensive recovery services and supports for citizens with addictive disease.”

Nearly $350,000 in new investments will be used to remodel the current facility. The center has been given a $1.5 million budget for its first year of operations. Highland Rivers expects to staff Highland Recovery with approximately 25 new hires.

Dougherty Leadership Development Institute integrates individuals with disabilities into community leadership roles

The Dougherty Leadership Development Institute (DLDI) brings together individuals with disabilities and community leaders. The institute focuses on educating participants about Dougherty County and raising awareness of community organizations and agencies serving people of disabilities. The program is a collaborative effort of the Albany Advocacy Resource Center (Albany ARC), the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and alumni of Leadership Albany. Since its creation in 1991, DLDI has produced over 400 graduates.

“In our community, we have individuals with disabilities who have the ability to be leaders but have never had the opportunity. DLDI integrates individuals with disabilities and community leaders in a leadership training program, opening doors for individuals with disabilities to become leaders and involved in our community by serving and volunteering,” says Annette Bowling, retired executive director, Albany ARC.

The program is modeled after Leadership Albany with the added goal of integrating persons with disabilities and non-disabled persons into the leadership community.

The DLDI has a threefold purpose:

    1. To allow individuals with diverse disabilities and non-disabled individuals to become more knowledgeable about common issues, needs, concerns, resources and opportunities which “cut across” disability lines;
    2. To provide the opportunity for leadership skills development aimed at empowering participants to have even more influence over decisions which affect their lives; and
    3. To establish a network for better communication and relationships between individuals with differing disabilities, as well as with organizations/agencies working for and with people of disabilities.

The institute’s class sessions include: diversity training; health and human services; education and communication; healthcare facilities/hospitals; courts and public safety; business and economic development; and arts and cultural activities.

For more information about DLDI, contact the Albany ARC at (229) 888-6852.

Department expands services for young adults

DBHDD’s child and adolescent mental health office is operating under a new name: the Office of Children, Young Adults and Families. The new office will expand its focus to include the young adult population (ages 18–26), which has historically fallen into a gap between adolescent and adult mental health services.

“Young adults have become a target population in the mental health field. Access to care at this critical age can make a significant difference in how someone’s behavioral health develops into adulthood. The new office allows us to focus on people developmentally, not just based on age,” said director Linda Henderson-Smith, Ph.D.

The office will continue to support children, adolescents and their families. Visit our website for more information on the Office of Children, Young Adults and Families.

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