Advocating for Mental Health Parity in Georgia
Several Skyland Trail alumni and alumni families are part of an advocacy effort in Georgia to pass legislation to improve access to mental healthcare. As a result of these efforts, on Mental Health Day at the Capitol, January 26, 2022, House Speaker David Ralston announced bipartisan legislation to reform Georgia’s mental health delivery system. Skyland Trail graduate Madison Scott is Director of Development for Mental Health America of Georgia, one of the partner organizations in the Georgia Mental Health Policy Partnership.
“Throughout my own mental health journey, I always had the privilege of support and care. Having the opportunity to go to Skyland Trail was something I can never express enough gratitude for,” says Scott. “Unfortunately, so many Georgians do not have that same access to care. The Mental Health Parity Act and the work of the Georgia Mental Health Policy Partnership is a great step in beginning to fix that access in Georgia. I am honored to be a part of the incredible work being done in our state. And I thank Skyland Trail tremendously for helping me overcome and learn, so I can be here and be part of it.”
Skyland Trail alumni family member Roland Behm also has been instrumental in leading this effort.
“The Mental Health Parity Act will benefit millions of Georgians and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in additional health care to some of Georgia’s most medically vulnerable citizens,” says Behm. “Under the proposed legislation, insurers will no longer be able to discriminate on the basis of diagnosis by denying coverage to persons with behavioral health challenges.”