GEORGIA (WRBL) – Georgia state lawmakers put the spotlight on mental health on Tuesday, during day six of the ongoing legislative session.

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House Speaker David Ralston says he plans to file a bill Wednesday allocating millions of dollars for mental health services across the state.

State lawmakers say the issue must be a top priority this year, especially as studies show mental health crises have been on the rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those mental health issues effect students as young as those in elementary school.

“We are seeing much more difficulties with school aged children as it relates to their emotional and mental health due to the pandemic,” said Savannah State Rep. Jess Petrea. “Our challenge in this state with mental health was long before the pandemic as we are moving away from institutional services.”

Lawmakers say funding for mental health issues will also prioritize frontline workers like doctors, nurses, and teachers.

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