Georgia gets mental health watchdog

Gov. Sonny Perdue has named Jewel Norman as the state mental health ombudsman, a position that is being funded for the first time this year.

Perdue said in a statement Wednesday that Norman will start her five-year appointment on July 16.

She will be responsible for establishing a state-wide complaint process, collecting and recording data on complaints about service providers, recommending law and policy changes, and compiling a biennial report on types of complaints, among other tasks.

Norman's previous experience includes heading a residential treatment facility and several large comprehensive psychiatric hospitals.

Perdue had created a committee to nominate candidates for the new position in January.