Governor Splits DHR To Give Mental Health Services Its Own Department

Details buried here in the back of the AJC.

Perdue’s plan, which will require the General Assembly’s approval next year, would create:

• A Department of Behavioral Health to provide mental health and substance abuse services.

• A Department of Health, which would encompass public health services, regulation of health care providers and the administration of Medicaid and PeachCare programs for the poor.

• A Department of Human Services, essentially a streamlined version of the current DHR. The new agency would oversee services for people with developmental disabilities, programs for the elderly, child support enforcement and the child welfare and foster care systems of the Division of Family and Children Services.

The reorganization needs the approval of the legislature.   Costs (or Savings) from the reorganization are not yet known.


  1. odinseye2k says:

    Not necessarily a bad move. Getting to the bottom of mental health issues would probably help out a lot of the homeless / incarcerated people in the state.

    It’s a little hard to hold down a worthwhile job when you freak out around people all the time.

  2. DemBones says:

    So someone who is elderly, poor, and mentally ill should go where for help? Oh, if only there was one agency that could handle all of their problems. Luckily this is an isolated case. I mean there can’t be that many people in Georgia who are elderly and poor, or mentally ill and poor, or developmentally disabled and mentally ill. I’m sure that making them go to 3 different agencies for help will save tons of money.

    So, what are we going to do with all of the money that we just saved?

  3. Chris says:

    So someone who is elderly, poor, and mentally ill should go where for help?

    Do what the others do, run for office.

  4. odinseye2k says:


    If done right (of course, Republican control and all that), I think this can give the Behavioral Health people a chance to stop being the poor stepchildren of other health services.

    Of course, it also gives three agencies equal chance to shuttle people around and claim “not my problem” as it does give them the chance to focus and strengthen programs.

  5. bucky says:

    Trust me, the various agencies are already perfectly capable of shuttling people around and claiming “not my problem” under the current “consolidated” system. At least now we’ll be removing a big layer of bureaucracy.

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