State Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome), chairman House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Resources, recently appeared on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s (GPB) “Lawmakers” show on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. Chairman Dempsey discussed legislative initiatives to support behavioral and mental health in Georgia.

“The Georgia House Republican Caucus has championed several legislative measures in recent years to address behavioral and mental health care for our citizens,” said Chairman Dempsey. “So many Georgians struggle in secret with their mental health, and the pandemic has certainly exacerbated these issues. We want anyone who is fighting through mental health issues to know that we are fighting for you here at the Capitol. You are not alone.”

During the “Lawmakers” Legislative Day 5 report, Chairman Dempsey discussed how the pandemic has affected mental health issues for Georgians. She commended the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHD) and the behavioral health community for its creativity and innovation in providing mental health services through last year. She also shared that the House Appropriations Committee has leveraged federal funding in the Amended Fiscal Year 2021 budget to continue mental and behavioral health services across the state.

Chairman Dempsey also announced that the House’s version of the AFY 2021 budget will include funding for a behavioral health crisis center for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). The crisis center would include 10 beds specifically designated for patients with IDDs, and it would be funded by approximately $1.7 million in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) savings that were identified by DBHDD. 

“My colleagues and I recognize how the pandemic may be intensely isolating for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” added Chairman Dempsey. “I have listened to my colleagues and constituents’ calls to find a placement for loved ones with IDDs. We are currently identifying funding opportunities to provide additional support specifically for people with these issues.”

GPB’s “Lawmakers” provides daily, in-depth coverage of the state legislature. It reports on the issues and people that affect taxes, jobs, schools and environment in Georgia.

To watch the GPB interview with Chairman Dempsey, please click here.