Ralston offers $ 75 million for mental health and law enforcement


Mental health funding is desperately needed, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say, and House Speaker David Ralston is proposing a $ 7 million increase in the crisis system of the state.

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disorders authorizes a short-term residential program under medical supervision of stabilization units in the event of a crisis. These UHCs provide emergency services for people with disabilities, including 24/7 psychiatric stabilization and drug addiction services.

As of the end of 2019, a total of 509 beds were available statewide for adults in a crisis stabilization unit or behavioral health crisis centers, according to DHDDD. This includes 71 beds for people under 18 and 245 beds for adults in crisis units.

The 264 beds at the Behavioral Health Crisis Centers also offer 24-hour walk-in support for psychiatric crisis assessment, intervention and counseling.

“I have said many times that in order for us to continue to be a great state, we also need to focus on being a good state – a state that cares about those in need,” said Ralston. . “Mental health is something that touches almost every family in this state, so investing in mental health services and our accountability courts isn’t just good business – it’s also a way to help people. to recover and reunite with their families. “

Ralston’s $ 75 million proposal to provide additional staff and resources for law enforcement and mental health services will be considered during the 2022 legislative session.

Certain items may appear in the amended state budget for fiscal year 2022 or the state budget for fiscal year 2023, Ralston’s office said in a press release. Specific funding allocations are subject to change based on the changing needs and demands of agencies throughout the budget process.

If approved, $ 25 million would be used for a one-time bonus for local law enforcement officers and approximately $ 50 million in annual recurring expenses for a number of state enforcement agencies. laws, justice and mental health, which includes money for DHDDD crisis beds. .

This story comes to (your outlet name here) through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a nonprofit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.


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