DBHDD awarded grant to create more peer services

January 25, 2012

ATLANTA - Georgia’s agency that provides services for individuals with mental illness and addictive diseases has been awarded a $210,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant will offer Peer Supported Whole Health and Wellness Coaching Certification through a partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. Georgia is one of 11 states to receive the grant award.

DBHDD will support a workforce of more than 600 Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) and train them to support individuals with behavioral health issues in meeting their health goals. The grant award will help develop a standard Georgia curriculum for CPSs to provide health and wellness supports. The program will also guide network providers on how to utilize trained CSPs to achieve health goals within their service framework.

“We know that people with severe and persistent mental illness die 25 years earlier than their peers. Though shocking and dismaying, this was not a surprise to consumers and their allies,” said Mark Baker, CPS, Director of Advocacy for DBHDD. “This grant is a long-hoped-for beginning response to the problem of separating behavioral health from physical health.”
DBHDD plans to roll out all phases of the grant by September 2012. For more information on the grant award, please visit dbhdd.georgia.gov.

Contact Information: 
Kristie N. Swink (knswink@dbhdd.ga.gov)