October 10 is World Mental Health Day. Here at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, we’re committed to increasing the percentage of residents with health coverage and that includes expanding access and affordability of mental health services.
The State of Mental Health in America 2018 reports that 1 in 5 adults in the United States have a mental health condition, yet 56% of adult with a mental illness have not sought treatment. While the rates of uninsured adults with a mental illness is declining, there is a shortage of mental health care providers that creates a disconnect between need and treatment. This disconnect is seen both in ongoing care and in emergency services. In Georgia, many state-run psychiatric facilities have been shut down and many general hospitals throughout the state, particularly in rural areas, lack expertise and proper facilities to properly address mental health emergencies, as detailed in this NPR article. Further escalating the issue, Voices for Georgia’s Children reports that 76 of the Georgia’s 159 counties lacked a licensed adolescent psychologist in 2015, and 52 counties lacked a licensed social worker. This means that many kids and their caretakers throughout the state are not getting the services they need and are suffering with depression and other illnesses without support.
With the great need for mental health services in Georgia, the Foundation is proud to spotlight these organizations providing mental health services:
- NAMI Georgia: provides classes for parents and caregivers gain a better understanding of mental health conditions and how they can best support their child, in-school interactive presentations to help teens learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions, support groups for adults and families with mental health conditions, and in-depth training for law enforcement, educators, mental health providers, counselors, faith leaders, and other community members to help youth experiencing crisis.
- Ser Familia: equips Latino youth, couples, parents and families through mental health counseling and educational programs that teach improved life, leadership and communication skills, empowering participants to thrive, reconcile dual culture and enjoy a healthy family environment.
- Chris 180: provides trauma informed counseling, foster homes and living quarters for youth and young adults.
How can you support mental health?
Visit Donor Central to support one of the organizations above or contact your philanthropic officer.