Crisis Assistance Service Available Through DBHDD

| June 25, 2013

dbhddGeorgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Commissioner Frank Berry and Benchmark Human Services announced via press release a contract to provide community-based crisis assistance service for children and adults in the agency’s Region 4 who are experiencing a severe emotional crisis. DBHDD Region Four includes the following counties: Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Colquitt, Cook, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Grady, Irwin, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner and Worth.

“This announcement is consistent with DBHDD’s mission to build communities by moving from an institutional model of health care delivery to a community-based model of care, so individuals with behavioral health challenges can receive services and programs closer to home,” said Commissioner Berry.

Berry encouraged Georgians to access emergency behavioral health services through the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225 orwww.mygcal.com. GCAL is a 24 hour/7 days a week central point of entry for all behavioral health services in the state, directing individuals to personalized services to meet their immediate need.

Benchmark has hired 17 new employees to provide crisis response services in Region 4.

“I fully expect Benchmark to become a national leader in demonstrating how a peer-based model can assist individuals in crisis achieve lasting recoveries,” said Benchmark Georgia State Director George Harris. The model uses certified peer specialists who work from the perspective of “having been there” to assist individuals in crisis and to serve as a role model, Harris explained.

Harris said clinical experts and licensed health care providers are also used throughout the program.

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