ATLANTA - The Commissioner of Georgia’s mental health agency has been appointed to the board of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) to represent the fifteen states and U.S. territories that make up its Southern region. Dr. Frank Shelp, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), was selected by his fellow state directors to serve on the nine-member board at NASMHPD’s annual commissioners’ meeting in July. Under the leadership of President Laura Nelson, MD, of Arizona, the organization will be focusing on criminal justice, housing, and community integration - issues Shelp said he’s eager to weigh-in on.
“In Georgia, we’ve made a good start on building better services and making it possible for more people with mental illness to have an independent life in the community,” said Shelp. “At the same time, we unfortunately have a growing number of people with mental illness who end up in the criminal justice system. I’m looking forward to working to solve those issues both here in Georgia and at the national level over the next few years.”
NASMHPD is the only member organization representing state executives responsible for the $36.7 billion public mental health service delivery system serving 6.8 million people annually in all 50 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia. It operates under a cooperative agreement with the National Governors Association.