New appropriations fund residential and outpatient center that will help fill service gaps in north Georgia
(L-R) Highland Rivers Health CEO Jason Bearden, DBHDD Commissioner Frank Berry, Rep. Katie Dempsey, and Rep. Rick Jasperse
Frank Berry, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), along with State Representatives Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) and Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), announced that the state will open a new substance abuse treatment facility in Jasper on Aug. 1, 2014. The program will serve people across DBHDD’s 31-county north Georgia region and will be funded by new appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.
“Rep. Jasperse and I are proud to announce this critical new service in North Georgia. This facility is only one of the many community behavioral health services in our region in which the state has invested in recent years,” said Dempsey, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Resources. “We must ensure that people in our communities have access to the mental health and substance abuse services that can help them live healthy and productive lives.”
The Highland Recovery Center will be operated by Highland Rivers Health, DBHDD’s public safety net provider in 12 northwest Georgia counties. The center will feature a 20-bed residential program for men and an outpatient treatment facility for both men and women. Highland Recovery will offer the first publicly funded residential substance abuse treatment facility for men in the region. The new center will operate as a companion to Highland Rivers’ Women’s Outreach Program in Rome.
“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.”
Jasperse said, “facilities like the Highland Recovery Center are about preserving families and helping people live meaningful, productive lives. For years, Highland Rivers has been working quietly behind the scenes in our community to do just that.”
Highland Recovery will be located at Highland Rivers’ Pickens County outpatient clinic, which is being renovated to support the new program. Nearly $350,000 in new investments will be used to remodel the current facility. The Georgia General Assembly has allocated $1.5 million to support new services and staff in fiscal year 2015. Highland Recovery will create approximately 25 new positions.