ATLANTA — Governor Brian Kemp held a press conference around noon on Thursday at the State Capitol to announce a new mobile app that supports crisis resources for Georgia's youth and student population.
"By providing an instant service to a child or young adult in need, I believe this app can and will save lives," said Kemp.
The Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) is a 24/7, statewide hotline that provides free and confidential access to crisis and routine services for mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to the press release.
This text based app will replace the current GCAL hotline in an effort to meet students where they are at --their text messages. According to Kemp, behavioral health and mental health issues are present and growing in our classrooms.
"These students and school systems face everything from substance abuse to teen suicide to broken families and psychological challenges," said Kemp.
Healthcare professionals, such as licensed clinicians are part of the GCAL staff alongside other "caring professionals," according to the release.
"[Staff members are] available 24/7 to de-escalate behavioral health crises, make referrals for treatment, and dispatch mobile crisis response teams."
Kemp was joined by Marty Kemp, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Commissioner Judy Fitzgerald, and legislative leaders.
Kemp said he included the funding for the app in the amended 2019 budget and the larger 2020 budget.