National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Calls for Federal Investigation of Georgia State Hospitals

January 18, 2007

NAMI has called for a federal investigation of neglect, abuse and poor medical care in Georgia’s state hospital system, and state leaders are calling for broader reforms.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, NAMI executive director Michael Fitzpatrick advised that "Federal action is not only appropriate, but imperative" under the civil rights law that protects institutionalized persons. The request is based on the investigative series, "Hidden Shame" published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution over the past week in which 115 consumer (patient) deaths over five years in the state’s seven regional hospitals were found to have occurred under suspicious circumstances.

The scandal also has resulted in calls for broader reform of the state’s mental healthcare system, both by the Georgia Mental Health Services Coalition, which includes NAMI Georgia, and some state legislators.

Additional Resources

Read the investigative series from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Read an article by Mike Fitzpatrick, NAMI Executive Director in the January 16th, 2007 edition of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Read more about NAMI's call for an investigation into Georgia state hospitals in the January 18th, 2007 edition of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Read about the Mental Health Services Coalition and legislative reactions in the January 24th, 2007 issues of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Macon Telegraph.