Focus on Georgia's Mental Health CrisisFormer First Lady Rosalynn Carter will provide opening remarks for a discussion on the mental health crisis in Georgia tonight, Feb. 16, from 7-8:30 p.m. at The Carter Center. This Conversations at The Carter Center event is sold out but will be webcast live at

More than 130 patients have died under suspicious circumstances in Georgia’s public psychiatric hospitals over the past seven years, according to an exposé by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Carter Center has been a leading voice for change in Georgia’s mental health system since this crisis came to light, and has worked to identify strategies to transform Georgia’s shame into a model for the nation.

Carter Center Mental Health Program Director Dr. Thom Bornemann will moderate a panel of key stakeholders, who will discuss challenges facing the state mental health system, including the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the state of Georgia, and explore potential solutions. Panelists include Charles Willis of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network; Dr. John Gates, board member, The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, Georgia Southwestern University; and Andrew Penn of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Each Conversations features panel discussions of current world topics and Carter Center work. Full details of the Conversations schedule may be found at