A new mental health organization in Calhoun is planning to submit a proposal to Gordon County officials soon that would allow the organization to take over county mental health programs and use the County’s mental health building.
The county’s mental health contract with Highland Rivers, its current provider, expired, explained County Administrator Randy Dowling. The county decided to put the contract up for bid so competitors could have a chance to offer their services.
Representatives from the Family Interventionist Specialists (FIS) in Calhoun attended the Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting Tuesday Oct. 18 to discuss taking over the county mental health building and programs.
The contract gave Highland Rivers free use of the county’s mental health building (minus utilities), said County Administrator Randy Dowling. The contract also referred count-mandated patients in need of mental health services to Highland Rivers.
FIS, which opened a clubhouse for at-risk teens in Gordon County in August, wants the opportunity to have a similar contract with the County. The company also wants to expand its services to include treatments and programs that Highland Rivers does not cover.
“Highland Rivers has closed all of their substance abuse treatment (in Gordon County) and is only offering a small amount of mental health services,” said Carly Fountain, FIS Substance Abuse Program Manager.
Fountain said that FIS is looking in to start full programming for substance abuse and mental health for both adults and children.
“Our first priority is to also open an anger management, “Expressive therapies” for children and adolescents,” she said
Although Highland Rivers in Calhoun doesn’t offer substance abuse treatment at their facility, said Jason Bearden of Highland Rivers, it does transfer patients to its offices in neighboring cities such as Rome, Cedartown and Dalton.
Dowling said the next step is for the county to open an RFP (Request for Proposal) bid to the community. Then, mental health services providers will submit proposals to the Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners will decide, when the bid window closes, “who they want to use in their mental health facility,” he said.