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SE Georgia to benefit from $4.3M grant
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ATLANTA — One hundred adults in Southeast Georgia who are living with serious mental illness will benefit from a $4.3 million grant that will promote recovery and reduce their chances of relapsing after treatment. Over a two-year period, the Opening Doors to Recovery Project will focus on people who have experienced a mental-health crisis and returned to jail, prison, state hospitals or homelessness more than once a year.
The funding is a result of a partnership between the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, National Alliance on Mental Illness Georgia and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. Emory University will conduct the research to determine ODR’s effectiveness on reducing patients’ return rates.
“We are excited about the partners that have come together to make the Opening Doors to Recovery project possible,” said DBHDD Commissioner Frank E. Shelp. “This project is aligned with our mission to create a sustainable, self-sufficient and resilient life in the community and we expect it to give participants another chance to live a fulfilling life.”
Participants meeting the study’s criteria will be identified from those discharged from Georgia Regional Hospital Savannah. The ODR project will match the participants with case managers who will help participants reach their goal of recovery.
“The Opening Doors to Recovery project is a powerful example of how public-private partnerships can drive much-needed innovations in the nature and quality of care and support available to patients who are managing their illness in their homes and communities,” said Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Director Patricia M. Doykos. “We look forward to seeing how the project’s interventions and tools help participants avoid crisis and progress toward their recovery goals.”
Opening Doors to Recovery in Southeast Georgia is a two-year demonstration project designed to deliver tailored, recovery-oriented case management services to people with serious and persistent mental illnesses who have an established history of recurrent homelessness, incarcerations and/or hospitalizations.
ODR will develop, implement and evaluate both a case-management service and a new technology system for navigating a consumer’s community-based care and for tracking utilization of non-medical supports that are critical to recovery but are not typically captured in medical records.  Emory University will test the initial effectiveness and implementation of the models. If the interventions prove effective, the goal is to sustain them through funding making them available to many other Georgians.
“Stakeholders in Region 5, the 34 counties in the footprint of Savannah Regional Hospital, have worked tirelessly and passionately to make Opening Doors to Recovery a reality,” NAMI GA Public Policy Director Nora Lott Haynes said. “This community collaborative will reduce stigma, save lives and change the way communities encourage those with mental illness who live there.”
For more information about the Open Doors to Recovery Project, go to or

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