Georgia lawmakers focus on mental health issues

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GEORGIA (WRBL) – Georgia state lawmakers focused on mental health on Tuesday, during the sixth day of the current legislative session.

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House Speaker David Ralston said he plans to introduce a bill Wednesday allocating millions of dollars to mental health services across the state.

State lawmakers say the issue must be a top priority this year, especially as studies show mental health crises have increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

These mental health problems affect students as young as primary school children.

“We’re having a lot more difficulty with school-aged kids when it comes to their emotional and mental health because of the pandemic,” Savannah State Rep. Jess Petrea said. “Our challenge in this state with mental health was long before the pandemic, as we move away from institutional services.”

Lawmakers say funding for mental health issues will also prioritize frontline workers like doctors, nurses and teachers.

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