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Highland Rivers’ commitment to veterans highlighted in new report

More than 3,300 veterans served at local NW Ga. facilities since 2013

More than 3,300 veterans have been served by Highland Rivers Behavioral Health over the past decade, according to a new report released by the agency. “Services to Veterans, 2013-2023” is a retrospective data report about the agency’s services to veterans during an 11-year period from January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2023.

Key findings:

Total unique veterans served: 3,375
Number of individual services provided to veterans: 91,605
Value of services provided to veterans: $6,253,172
“Highland Rivers has been steadfast in our commitment to serving veterans, regardless of discharge status or ability to pay,” said Melanie Dallas, CEO of Highland Rivers Behavioral Health. “This report demonstrates that commitment – every year, we are meeting the unique behavioral health needs of hundreds of veterans, and thousands of veterans have turned to Highland Rivers for help over the past 11 years.”

Wide range of services
​Veterans have received a wide range of services from the agency, and many veterans received multiple types of services to address their complex needs. During the report period, nearly 80% (2,674) received mental health services and more than 800 received crisis services. More than 200 veterans have participated in Highland Rivers’ Veteran counseling and support groups. Other services provided to veterans include substance use treatment, community-based services, crisis respite apartments, supported employment, housing vouchers, peer support services, and veterans court.
​The data also found that just under 50% of veterans served (1,652) received some level of state-contracted services (SCS) – services paid for by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities for eligible individuals who do not have means to pay or are uninsured. SCS might also be used when an insurer does not pay for a service or an individual has exhausted his or her insurance coverage. Historically, approximately 10% of services to veterans have been uncompensated.
​Grant funds suicide prevention program
In 2022, Highland Rivers was awarded a grant through the VA’s Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Program, to enhance suicide prevention efforts among veterans and their families in Cherokee and Pickens counties. The agency will also be opening a new drop-in veteran support center later this year in Cobb County.

Services for veterans include:

  • Individual, group, and family counseling for PTSD
  • Family and couples counseling
  • Medication assessments
  • Crisis intervention and stabilization
  • Case management
  • Supported employment
  • Outpatient and residential substance use recovery
  • Connections to community resources
    “Highland Rivers honors the service and sacrifice of our veterans. We believe in prioritizing their behavioral health needs and are committed to providing comprehensive, accessible care,” Dallas added. “I am proud of our record in serving veterans, and that Highland Rivers has become a trusted source of help and support for Veterans in Georgia.”

The veterans service report is available on the Highland Rivers Behavioral Health website at:
highlandrivers.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Services-to-Veterans-2013-2023.pdf

About Highland Rivers Behavioral Health
, Highland Rivers Behavioral Health operates more than two-dozen treatment facilities across a 13-county, 4,700-square mile area of Northwest Georgia that includes Pickens County and serves approximately 20,000 individuals annually. For more information, visit www.highlandrivers.org.

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