Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health to Support Implementation of the Governor’s Children’s Mental Health Recommendations

The Georgia Health Policy Center will support Georgia’s Interagency Directors Team (IDT) in the implementation of the recommendations released by the Governor’s Commission on Children’s Mental Health. The commission’s newly released report provides recommendations for improving state mental health services for children that focus on important behavioral health needs including school-based mental health services and behavioral health workforce development.

In creating the report, the commission sought input from experts throughout the state. The IDT, a multiagency, public-private partnership of child and adolescent experts, and workgroup of the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, will be charged with facilitating an implementation plan for the recommendations in the report. The Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health at the Georgia Health Policy Center provides administrative and research support to the IDT.

The Center of Excellence provides backbone and organizational support services to IDT by

  • Facilitating strategic planning around vision, strategy, and implementation, and developing an interagency framework
  • Supporting aligned activities, including interagency data sharing efforts
  • Conducting comprehensive research to inform goals, operations, and best practices
  • Compiling qualitative and quantitative data and providing analysis relevant to strategic System of Care goals
  • Evaluating IDT’s efforts and progress toward their strategic goals

In addition to supporting the IDT, the Center of Excellence supports several of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities’ key programs that the Governor’s commission recommends expanding.

  • The Georgia Apex Program strives to increase access to behavioral health services through expansion of school-based mental health services. The Center of Excellence provides technical assistance for the program’s implementation at 30 grantee sites and conducts a yearly evaluation to assist with project management and to assess outcomes.
  • The High Fidelity Wraparound program addresses the complex emotional needs of youth and emerging adults with severe emotional disturbance through intensive care coordination, education, and skill-building services. The Center of Excellence provides training and coaching in High Fidelity Wraparound and evaluates the effectiveness of the program and fidelity to the evidence-based model.
  • The commission’s report calls for further investment in workforce development for child-service providers, including training for evidence-based practices and trauma-informed care. The Center of Excellence offers curriculum development and a comprehensive portfolio of and subject matter training for behavioral health providers to build workforce capacity.