History

1842 - State Asylum (late known as Central State Hospital) was established in Milledgeville.

1921 - Gracewood State School and Hospital was established in Augusta under the Department of Public Welfare.

1960 - Central State and Gracewood were transferred to the Department of Public Health and creation of Division of Mental Health.

1972 - Department of Human Resources (DHR) created to include child welfare, foster care, juvenile justice, Medicaid, mental health, mental retardation, public health, welfare, and vocational rehab.

1975 - Drug abuse services became a part of DHR and the division became Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse (MHMRSA).

1994 - HB 100 attempted to institute a government-managed system in which hospitals and community programs both reported to regional boards (there were 19 local regions) which distributed money to both – with family and consumers dominating the boards. This was an attempt to force community and hospital resources to work together. The goal was to encourage more contracting with community-based non-profits to create a more competitive program environment, urging each side to perform better.

2009 - DHR restructured - mental health, along with addictive diseases and developmental disabilities, was given its own Department at the state level. The new name became the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

2014 - SB349: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Title 37 of the O.C.G.A., relating to mental health, so as to provide for changes to the powers and duties of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Georgia State O.C.G.A. § 37-2-6

Community mental health, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases service boards -- Community service board creation;membership; participation of counties; transfer of powers and duties; alternate method of establishment; bylaws; reprisals prohibited