Legislative Update

 

GAMFT need your help! 

 

Under current Georgia law, 1013s and 2013s are certificates that require emergency involuntary transportation to an emergency receiving facility of a patient who is experiencing a mental health crisis that poses a danger to themselves or others for evaluation by a psychiatrist or psychologist for possible hospitalization for treatment of their mental health difficulties. 1013s are for mental health crises, while 2013s are for mental health crises due to substance use. Both are integral in the set of tools mental health care providers utilize to keep their clients and patients safe and alive, particularly in areas where mental health providers are sparse.

We’ve been working hard for years behind the scenes to help gain Marriage and Family Therapists the ability to utilize life-saving 1013s and 2013s — and on the last night of the session in March 2021, (“Sine Die”), the General Assembly passed HB 591, a bill that gives MFTs the authority to authorize 1013 and 2013.

HB 591 has now gone to Governor Kemp’s desk for consideration, and the governor has 40 days to sign or veto legislation. With the passage of this bill, Georgia will increase the capacity of behavioral health care providers to address health challenges in rural Georgia. We will increase access to needed care by increasing our workforce capacity across the state with no additional cost to our system. These improvements are important as we experience increased challenges from isolation and mental health struggles resulting in more depression and suicide among some groups.

 

TAKE ACTION TODAY

Call the Governor’s Office and ask that the Governor sign HB 591 into law. HB 591 authorizes marriage and family therapists to sign the form providing for an emergency evaluation of a person with mental illness or substance abuse disorder who presents a danger to themselves or others.

 

HOW TO TAKE ACTION

 

WHAT TO SAY

Feel free to use the script below in your email or on your phone call. Feel free to add in your personal information such as name, license, and city or town of residence.

Dear Governor Kemp,

Please sign HB 591 into law. The 2021 Report of the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission recommended this be enacted as a way to increase the capacity of behavioral health care providers to address health challenges in rural Georgia. The Commission’s recommendation would increase access to needed care by increasing our workforce capacity across the state with no additional cost to our system.

These improvements are important as we experience increased challenges from isolation and mental health struggles resulting in more depression and suicide among some groups.

THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP TO INCREASE ACCESS TO CRITICALLY NEEDED CARE FOR GEORGIANS IN CRISIS.

Sincerely, 

[Your name]

[Your license]

[Your city or town of residence in Georgia]

 

 


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Click here for our latest fact sheet and why it is so important that Marriage and Family Therapists in Georgia be authorized to act to increase access to behavioral health care for people in crisis and reduce the incidence of suicide in Georgia.