Peach Pulse | Mental Health Advocacy, GHF Job Openings, & more!




May 2024



As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, it’s important to remember that our commitment to raising awareness and improving mental health care doesn’t end here. 


GHF proudly attended the 28th Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum earlier this month. The event convened many professionals dedicated to improving mental health for Georgians across the state. Key highlights were the engaging bipartisan discussions and thought-provoking presentations throughout the forum. These conversations are crucial for advancing mental health access in Georgia.


Nearly half (46%) of Georgia adults believe mental health is the most pressing issue facing the state today. However, Georgia has yet to take a fundamental step to increase access to mental health care: closing the coverage gap.


Closing the coverage gap means enabling uninsured, low-income adults to enroll in health insurance, ensuring they have access to necessary medical care. This would allow Georgians to receive preventive health services before developing a mental health condition or substance use disorder.


Two years ago, Georgia passed the Mental Health Parity Act, landmark legislation that improved access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment for Georgians with health insurance. This bill strengthened the state’s mental health infrastructure by requiring insurers to cover mental health services the same as physical health services, creating a system to report unfair coverage denials, and increasing access to trained professionals and care coordination for insured Georgians in crisis. However, Georgians in the coverage gap remain without access to most of these benefits.

Preventive care and treatment services would help keep more Georgia families healthy and intact, preventing crises, suicides, and overdoses. One in four Georgians in the coverage gap have a mental illness or substance use disorder. With coverage, these individuals could consistently access health services, manage their conditions affordably, and work toward recovery.


Even though Mental Health Awareness Month is ending, let’s continue to advocate for mental health all year long. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of countless Georgians.


Join us in celebrating three remarkable achievements by our team members at GHF. First, congratulations to Deanna Williams, GHF’s  Enrollment Assister, on her recent graduation from the Families USA Health Equity Academy. As a 2023 System Transformation Fellow, Deanna has gained valuable skills and knowledge to advance equitable maternal health in Georgia. She collaborated with other health equity advocates from across the country to build connections, exchange knowledge, and amplify their collective influence.


Knetta Adkins, GHF’s Director of Partnerships and Outreach, was recently selected to participate in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Georgia Women’s Policy Institute. This program trains women from diverse backgrounds in leadership, advocacy, and civic engagement, focusing on developing and supporting state-level policy proposals. Participants learn the fundamentals of Georgia government as they work to create a more just and equitable state for women, girls, and families.


We are incredibly proud of Deanna and Knetta’s dedication and achievements and look forward to the positive impact they will continue to make. Congratulations, Deanna and Knetta!


Laura Colbert, Executive Director, delivered the commencement address to the University of Georgia College of Public Health’s Class of 2024. In her remarks, she highlighted that the most effective public health efforts focus on three key components: People, Power, and Possibility. You can watch her address here and read the transcript of her speech here. Congratulations to the Class of 2024 public health graduates and thank you for welcoming Laura on your special day!

The GHF staff wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to our generous supporters during our fundraising day for healthy housing. More than 90 of you generously donated during the 24-hour giving sprint earlier this month!

With your generous support, we can continue working towards a future in which all Georgians have healthy housing! This year our GHF team aims to:

  • Build support among state leaders to fully fund the Georgia Housing Voucher Program! This program ensures that Georgians with mental health conditions have stable, affordable housing that helps keep them healthy and out of crisis.
  • Bring together people with disabilities, caregivers, housing experts and advocates, and the Georgia officials who oversee health and housing to examine and promote ways to improve and expand housing for people with disabilities.
  • Convene housing and health advocates to identify opportunities for collaborations that will improve health and housing at the same time! We’re more powerful together!


Thank you all for partnering with us to advocate for policies that prioritize healthy living conditions for all Georgians. We’re deeply grateful for your dedication to this cause and for being part of our community. Together, we will build a state where every individual has safe, affordable housing that supports their health and allows them to thrive.


If you didn’t have a chance to give, but would still like to, you can donate here.


We’re excited to announce two fantastic job opportunities at GHF!


We’re looking for passionate, collaborative individuals committed to antiracist and intersectional work to join our team.


We’re looking for a Deputy Director to play an essential role in leading and supporting GHF. The Deputy Director will develop and implement new operations, evaluation, and human resources processes; handle various administrative and finance tasks; and work closely with our Executive Director to manage the organization effectively and achieve our strategic goals. If you’re a detail-oriented strategist who loves improving internal processes, this position is perfect for you!


We are also looking for a highly motivated Health Policy Manager to dive into GHF’s policy and program research, write issue briefs, create advocacy strategies to promote GHF’s policy priorities, and build relationships with key industry and government stakeholders. This role is ideal for someone passionate about tackling disparities in health care, coverage, and public health systems. Plus, you can work from anywhere in Georgia!


If you or someone you know is interested, apply today or share these opportunities with your networks! We can’t wait to welcome new members to our team!


In collaboration with Creative Research Solutions, the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute is conducting paid interviews to hear from Georgians who are currently or were previously enrolled in the new Pathways to Coverage program. Georgians who meet the eligibility criteria can earn $70 for participating in a 45-60 minute interview over the phone or on Zoom. We hope you’ll share this with folks in your network and encourage them to let their voice be heard. Georgians who are interested in signing up to share their experiences can text 404-919-6293 or fill out this online form.


Want to learn more about the Pathways to Coverage program? Our partners at the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute are sharing program information and data, stories of Georgians’ experiences with the program, and other great resources at Visit, learn, and share!