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Carter Center Statement on Settlement Agreement on Georgia Mental Health Services


Contact: Deanna Congileo,

ATLANTA.....We applaud the hard work of the Department of Justice and the State of Georgia for reaching this groundbreaking settlement agreement, which will mean that thousands of people with disabilities in Georgia will receive services in their own homes and communities, instead of in the state hospitals.  This is a great day for Georgians with mental illnesses.

Under this agreement, the hospitals will no longer be the sole point of entry for people with mental illnesses into Georgia's public mental health system.  Now Georgians will be able to access community-based crisis services when they need inpatient or acute care.  They also will be able to access the types of long-term supports – like supported housing, supported employment, and intensive case management – that they need to maintain healthy, independent lives in the community.  There also is a commitment to expand peer support services, a nationally-recognized model started right here in Georgia in which people with mental illnesses help each other to manage symptoms and access services.

The Carter Center welcomes the settlement agreement, and we look forward to working with all parties on the implementation challenges that lay ahead.  This is a momentous time to move the state of Georgia forward and serve as a model for meeting the needs of our adult citizens who have mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.

Read Press Release:  Justice Department Obtains Comprehensive Agreement Regarding the State of Georgia's Mental Health and Developmental Disability System >

Watch video:  WXIA-TV coverage of the Georgia mental health crisis settlement, featuring an interview with Carter Center Mental Health Program Director Dr. Thom Bornemann >

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