I would like to take this opportunity to recognize how painful it is for our communities and employees to experience the events surrounding the loss of Aumaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and most recently Rayshard Brooks.
Advantage Behavioral Health Systems acknowledges that Black Lives Matter. Valuing People is at the core of who we are. We will not tolerate racism or discrimination of any kind. We are further committed to a positive employee and client experience related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
The words diversity, equity and inclusion can be defined or interpreted differently, so I would like to reinforce how we define these words.
Diversity is the variety of abilities, experiences and perspectives that make us who we are. Diversity is anything that differentiates people from one another. Race, gender, sexual orientation are certainly examples, but it is much more than that. Education, geography, socio-economic status, military status, etc. are all additional examples of diversity.
Equity is about the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically under-served and under-represented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups.
Inclusion is about creating a respectful culture where differences (diversity) are treated as vital assets to the organization’s current and future success. Inclusive behaviors recognize, value and engage the unique talents, skills, perspectives and backgrounds of all employees.
You will see in our FY21 Strategic Plan that we have included optimizing employee experience and engagement as a priority. We commit to additional education and training on diversity, equity and inclusion. We here at Advantage want to ensure that EVERYONE is valued and treated respectfully AND equally. We will continue to strive to demonstrate that we care about the well-being of our employees and clients to grow in our awareness of the challenges, strengths, and opportunities in our shared community.
Advantage Behavioral Health Systems
It is the mission of Advantage Behavioral Health Systems to provide person-centered community-based services and treatment to individuals and families experiencing mental illness, developmental disabilities, and addictions, by collaboratively using personal, community and organizational resources.
It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the untimely passing of Jerry NeSmith. Jerry served on the Advantage Community Service Board for over 5 years, representing Athens-Clarke County. He invested his time, efforts, heart and resources in advocating and connecting individuals to our services and resources to help them lead their best lives. Jerry will be missed at Advantage as well as within the communities he touched. He will remain in our hearts. The world is a better place because Jerry played his role to the benefit of us all.
We send our love to his wife and family. Please click on this link for further information. For those interested, Jerry's family has asked that donations be made to Friends of Advantage in honor of the life Jerry lived. Please click here to donate.
Below is a link to a telehealth survey to help us learn more about our client experiences in this treatment / work modality, and for advocacy around continuing relaxation of telehealth restrictions. The survey is set up to allow multiple responses from the same computer – that will be necessary if more than one child per family is in services or if staff share a computer.
Please share your experience by clicking on the survey link so that we may better serve you.
Client telehealth link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Client-Telehealth
Please read the latest Updates regarding changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UPDATE to Advantage COVID-19 Response:
Although the statewide shelter-in-place order was lifted May 1, Advantage is continuing to offer routine outpatient services through telehealth and will be limiting in-person appointments for the foreseeable future. Outpatient centers will remain open for in-person medical and crisis services only. Our Behavioral Health Crisis Center, Homeless Day Service Center, Residential Programs, and other 24/7 programs will continue services utilizing necessary precautions to keep staff and clients safe. We will update this page regularly with any changes. If you have questions or need help accessing the link to you telehealth appointment, please call: 1-855-333-9544.
Coronavirus Latest Updates 3/23/2020
Advantage Behavioral Health System is working diligently to avoid a disruption in clients receiving services due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our outpatient clinics in all counties will remain open for intakes, walk-ins and crisis services. Our Behavioral Health Crisis Center, Homeless Day Service Center, Specialty Programs and 24/7 programs will continue services utilizing necessary precautions to prevent exposure. Group services will remain suspended and our IDD Day Programs will remain closed.
Effective March 24, 2020, we will be implementing telehealth for outpatient services and some specialty programs. This will allow our clients who have scheduled appointments with a prescriber, clinician or case manager to continue receiving services without coming on site. Telehealth services will include video conferencing and telephone calls with a provider. We will utilize a telehealth platform for video conferencing that will allow clients to keep their appointment and access their provider without leaving their home. Clients will need internet connection and a smartphone or computer and follow 3 simple steps:
If you DO NOT have access to a phone, internet, computer or a smartphone for video conferencing you may continue coming on site for your appointments. Not all services will be using video conferencing, instead providers will make contact with clients via telephone.
Please continue to practice social distancing and follow the recommendations of the CDC and the Department of Public Health during this time to prevent the spread of the virus. Thank you for your support as we navigate this challenging situation. We will continue to seek the advice of health professionals as developments occur and make updates as necessary.
Tammy Conlin, CEO
In the Google search engine type the following: free WIFI in Georgia due to COVID-19
The first link that will populate in the search will say Georgia Internet Access for COVID-19 update/Georgia
Click on that link and it will direct you to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs
On the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website you will see an icon for community internet access and an icon for in home internet access.
The community icon will provide free hot spots across Georgia.
The home icon will provide you with internet providers that are providing free internet in homes during COVID-19 pandemic and steps to take to obtain the free internet from those providers.
For over 40 years, Advantage has served the community with one strong message — the message of hope. Thousands of people have received healing service from our agency and experienced the joy of recovery. It is because of the tireless and dedicated efforts of our physicians, clinicians and volunteers that clients can experience the freedom and independence that comes directly from our main mission. As you browse our website, I sincerely hope that you will enjoy discovering the essence and strength of our wonderful organization, Advantage.
Tamara L. Conlin, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer
Apr 17, 2020
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