Forsyth County, Georgia

Georgia map pinpointing Cumming, Georgia and Forsyth County Population: 236,612
Project focus: Access to health services

View the project snapshot (PDF)

Forsyth County Government, with Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, Forsyth County Information Systems and Technology, and Avita Community Partners, has formed a robust collaborative approach to respond to increased rates of calls to police and arrests linked to untreated mental health needs.

Currently, jails serve as the primary provider of mental health services; this initiative seeks to change that. The team plans to improve coordination between agencies and organizations, build community awareness to reduce stigma and change established practices. They also want to work closely to close gaps for people with mental illness and/or substance use disorders who are involved in the criminal justice system. This will primarily be done through data-driven decisions that will highlight how to best serve those with serious mental illness and substance use issues. Building a system to share data that will improve coordination between agencies and providers is both tactical and innovative and we are ready to see how Forsyth County brings this project to life!

Goals:

  • Improve care coordination for individuals (with behavioral health issues) by building a data system
  • Integrate and share data via a cloud-based, high-security data platform
  • Establish data sharing agreements to create a legally compliant platform
  • Create a person-centered record and a mechanism to track interactions across healthcare providers and associated networks
  • Address inequities (poverty, mental health issues, crime rate etc.)
  • Reduce recidivism rate
  • Create a profile centric program and utilize a certified peer specialist to manage clients through established programs and service offerings.

Check out NACo's interviews with each of the the 10 county-based teams, including Forsyth County.