ATLANTA – August 18, 2023 – Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) will begin construction of the first publicly funded Behavioral Health Crisis Center (BHCC) on Monday, August 21 at 10 a.m. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the Oak Hill Child, Family & Adolescent Center located at 2805 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30315.
The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities has worked closely with Fulton County and the Georgia General Assembly to develop the Fulton County BHCC. The Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 2024) budget adopted by the General Assembly includes $6,651,470 for this Behavioral Health Crisis Center. Fulton County has allocated a portion of a 48,000-square-foot facility on a 29-acre parcel owned by the county to serve as the BHCC, which will provide behavioral health crisis services 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a 15-bed, 18-observation chair center.
“Despite being home to 10 percent of Georgia’s population, Fulton County does not currently have a dedicated Behavioral Health Crisis Center,” said DBHDD Commissioner Kevin Tanner, who will attend the ceremony with state and local officials. “This is an enormous partnership between the state of Georgia and Fulton County and fulfills a huge need for the area and adjacent counties. This project aligns with DBHDD's goals to increase access to crisis services, especially with the onboarding of the 9-8-8 Crisis hotline.”
More Fulton citizens will be closer to home in their “community,” thus relieving the stress the health care system is experiencing, including workforce shortage and stigma surrounding behavioral health.
The existing Oak Hill Center is currently being used for many community needs, including the services of the Fulton County Board of Health and twice-monthly food distribution. All services will continue to operate on the site with improved facilities. The renovated facility will also incorporate community meeting space for surrounding neighborhoods.
“There are Georgians interacting with our criminal justice system who have severe and persistent mental illness,” added Commissioner Tanner. “This crisis center will offer a real opportunity for change, to promote recovery and enable individuals to attain independence and lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.”
The Fulton County Behavioral Health Crisis Center will incorporate a “living room” model in which patients with lower acuity of need will receive services through other programs, helping ensure more crisis beds are used by patients with the greatest need. Facility construction will include space for future youth crisis services. Security will also be a key feature of the renovated facility.
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