You can check this list to review the bills and voice your vote to state leaders.

ATLANTA — 11Alive shared stories from our investigative series #Keeping with legislative leaders in Georgia. The series highlights systemic gaps and heartbreak leading to child abandonment in the Peach State. We showed them how shortages in the workforce, mental health parity, and the denial of medically necessary services all play a role.

You can read all of the responses 11Alive received from lawmakers here.

Leaders in both the House and Senate have promised to make issues impacting mental and behavioral health, as well as supportive services for dually diagnosed children, a priority in the 2022 legislative session. 11Alive has compiled a list of what has been proposed so far.

11Alive will update this list of proposed solutions as the session progresses. You can stay up to date on related legislation and let lawmakers know where you stand to make an impact on child mental health care in the Peach State. Check this list to review the bills and voice your vote to state leaders.

11Alive is not endorsing any of the following measures, merely providing a list for the community to review.

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Proposed legislation at the state level

HB49: Mental Health Parity Act — To require that insurer treatment of claims concerning mental and substance use disorders are treated equally with other health insurance claims.

  • Status: Insurance committee
  • Hearings: None scheduled
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Shelly Hutchinson, Calvin Smyre, Matthew Wilson, Jasmine Clark, Kim Schofield, James Beverly

HB590 — Provide for a grant program to establish assisted outpatient treatment programs for people with mental illness.

  • Status: House Health and Human Services Committee
  • Hearings: None scheduled
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Don Hogan, Mary Margaret Oliver, Noel Williams, John LaHood, Shaw Blackmon, Mitchell Scoggins

HB853 — This bill would initiate mental health treatment as an alternative to imprisonment. It would also provide options for mental health treatment during imprisonment.

  • Status: Judicial Non-Civil
  • Hearings: None scheduled
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Sandra Scott, Kim Schofield, David Wilkerson, Viola Davis, Donna McLeod

HB713 — Provide multifaceted mental health reform initiatives and supports to reduce homelessness.

  • Status: Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee
  • Hearings: None Scheduled
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Katie Dempsey, Penny Houston, J Collins, Calvin Smyre, Bill Hitchens, Karla Drenner

HB571 — Establish mental health training requirements for law enforcement.

  • Status: Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee
  • Hearings: None scheduled
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Yasmin Neal, Mack Jackson, Zulma Lopez, Marvin Lim

HB570 — This legislation would establish mental health training requirements for law enforcement through the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

  • Status: Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee
  • Hearings: None scheduled
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Yasmin Neal, Mack Jackson, Zulma Lopez, Marvin Lim

HB15 — This bill would require de-escalation training for law enforcement.

  • Status: Public Safety & Homeland Security
  • Hearings: None scheduled
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Sandra Scott, Park Cannon, Kim Schofield, Shelly Hutchinson, Karen Bennett

HB717 — The bill would provide authorization to law enforcement to take a person to a physician, or emergency facility for emergency mental health evaluation

  • Status: Health & Human Services
  • Hearings: None
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Sharon Cooper, Bill Hitchens, Eddie Lumsden, Katie Dempsey

SB208 — To require the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities fully provide funded services over a five-year period to those with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are on the New Options Waiver (NOW) or Comprehensive Supports Waiver (COMP) waiting list. This would also prohibit the department from capping or limiting community living support services under the COMP waiver.

  • Status: Appropriations
  • Hearings: None
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Sally Harrell, Ed Harbison, Nikki Merritt, Sheikh Rahman, Freddie Sims, Tonya Anderson, Valencia Seay, Sonya Halpern, Elena Parent, Jennifer Jordan, Michelle Au, Kim Jackson, Gail Davenport, Harold Jones II, Nan Orrock

HB239 — To provide that the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities conduct or coordinate all audits of behavioral health providers

  • State Health & Human Services
  • Hearings: None
  • Votes: None
  • Sponsors: Shelly Hutchinson, Erick Allen, Kim Schofield, James Beverly, Rebecca Mitchell, Sandra Scott

Proposed legislation on the national level

S1902/HR5611: Behavioral Health Crisis Services Expansion Act — To revamp the current response to mental health and suicidal crises by establishing national standards for crisis care, including universally available 24/7 local crisis call centers, mobile crisis teams, crisis stabilization centers, short -term residential care and behavioral health urgent walk-in care. It would also provide funding for the development of crisis services.

S828/HR432: Mental Health Access Improvement Act — Provides for coverage of marriage and family therapist services and mental health counselor services under Medicare. It also excludes such services from the skilled nursing facility prospective payment system, and authorizes marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors to develop discharge plans for post-hospital services.