Dear editor:

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) has opened three behavioral health crisis centers in Albany, Thomasville and Valdosta. These centers offer a full array of crisis services for people struggling with mental health challenges and drug or alcohol abuse. They accept walk-ins 24/7 and combine short-term crisis intervention, counseling services and emergency receiving capabilities as part of the state’s ongoing transition to community-based services.

 The crisis center in Thomasville is operated by Georgia Pines Community Service Board. Georgia Pines is funded by DBHDD to provide services for mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities in Colquitt, Decatur, Grady, Mitchell, Seminole and Thomas Counties. Staff includes psychiatrists, physicians, licensed therapists, nurses and case managers. The Crisis Center is located at 525 Cassidy Road.

Through the state’s partnership with Georgia Pines and its new focus on community-based services, residents in each of the counties served by Georgia Pines and across southwest Georgia now have easy access to high-quality behavioral health care in their local communities.

 The state’s 2015 budget allocates more than $67.2 million for behavioral health services in the region, including $24 million for new services, like the crisis centers. Combined, these centers offer 78 crisis beds and 18 temporary observation beds. This represents a substantial increase over the number of behavioral health beds previously available at Southwestern State Hospital.  

Georgia Pines operates a walk-in outpatient behavioral health facility at the crisis center in Thomasville. Colquitt County residents can also visit the Colquitt County Mental Health facility (615 N. Main Street in Moultrie) for outpatient behavioral health services by appointment via the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at (800) 715-4225.

 Georgia Pines provides various levels of residential programs throughout its service area as well as an array of specialty programs.

Licensed staff and community support staff are available to provide out-of-clinic services for each of the six counties served by Georgia Pines. Staff have designated days in each county and often work in schools, primary care offices, probation and parole offices, facilities run by the Division of Family and Children Services and in consumers’ homes.

DBHDD partners with Behavioral Health Link to provide the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL), which offers free and confidential behavioral health services around the clock. All of the services provided by Georgia Pines can be accessed by calling GCAL at (800) 715-4225, or visiting

In addition to behavioral health crisis intervention and treatment, Georgia Pines offers: behavioral health assessments; outpatient services and referrals for ongoing care; case management; medication; counseling (individual, family and group); detoxification; adult substance abuse day treatment, including programs under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; peer supports; residential services; supported housing and employment; and other services. Mobile crisis dispatch is also available through GCAL.

To learn more about available services, contact DBHDD's Thomasville office at (229) 225-5099, or visit For information about Georgia Pines, call (229) 225-4335, or visit

Bob Jones,  

director of Georgia Pines Community Service Board, Thomasville

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