Mon., February 15, 2010 2:30pm (EST)

Experts Brought in to Overhaul Mental Health Hospitals
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 4 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities logo
Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities logo
The state is bringing in a team of national experts in order to improve Georgia's mental health system and avoid a federal takeover. The team is headed up by Dr. Nirbhay Singh from Virginia. He has worked with states like California, Connecticut and Kentucky whose systems faced similar scrutiny by the Department of Justice.

Singh will be paid up to 3.5 million dollars this year to bring the team experts to Georgia's seven mental hospitals.

Tom Wilson with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities says it will be money well spent.

"They're actually helping us write the plans, helping to train staff members, train nurses, train the other people in the facilities to be able to do better work and use more updated methods of taking care of people."

Wilson says Sing's past experience working with the DOJ could help the state avoid a federal takeover as well as the billions in costs that could come with it.