GMHCN Highlights and achievements

1990-2020

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1990 – The first gathering of 30 consumers of behavioral health and developmental disease services in Tucker, Georgia

1991 – The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network is incorporated
1991 – Ken Whiddon is elected first GMHCN president

1991 – First issue of The Pipeline published

1992 – Georgia’s First Statewide Consumer Conference in Macon at Mercer University, where 650 peers vote for employment as their top priority.

1993 – Georgia House Bill 100 becomes law, mandating a flow of state behavioral health funds out to regions across the state, and a makeup of regional boards to include at least 50% consumers and family members

1993 – The Annual Summer Conference moves to Emory University

1993 – Larry Fricks is hired as Director of Consumer Affairs for the State of Georgia’s mental health authority

1994 – The first peer specialist is hired at Georgia Regional Hospital – Atlanta

1994 – The first consumer-run drop-in center opens in Decatur

1994 – GMHCN office opens in Decatur

1994 – Annual Summer Conference in Albany cancelled due to flooding

1995 – 20 to Work by 2000, the first large-scale initiative of GMHCN is launched

1995 – Annual Summer Conference moves to St. Simons Island
1995 – Subscriptions to The Pipeline subscriptions pass 1,200

1995 – GMHCN receives its first SAMHSA grant

1995 – GMHCN hires its first paid executive director, Delois Scott

1995 – GMHCN is a founding member of Behavioral Health Services Coalition

1996 – The Georgia Consumer Council is founded

1996 – Friendship Centers open in Atlanta to support Atlanta’s Olympic efforts

1997 – Georgia’s first Double Trouble in Recovery meetings are held in Fulton County

1997 – The Georgia Consumer Council begins its cemetery project at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville

1997 – GMHCN membership passes 3,000, and hosts the largest peer conference in the country, attended by over 1,200 people

1998 – 20 x 2000 to work, the first large-scale workforce initiative of GMHCN, is launched

1999 – The first Georgia Peer Support Institute is held

2001 – GMHCN receives SAMHSA funding for the Pilot Certified Peer Specialist project, and the first training is held at St. Simons Island

2004 ­– Sharon Jenkins Tucker joins GMHCN as Executive Director

2004 ­– First Walking in Recovery fundraiser

2004 – GMHCN receives a SAMHSA grant for the Georgia Statewide Peer Wellness Initiative, to train WRAP facilitators, conduct statewide WRAP trainings, and develop a WRAP for Work Workbook

2005 – Peer Mentoring Project begins

2007 – GMHCN receives a SAMHSA grant for the Georgia Statewide Peer Wellness Initiative, to train CPSs to provide health and wellness education, wellness groups, and to support peers in the development of self-directed wellness plans

2008 – GMHCN opens the first Peer Support and Wellness Center in Decatur

2008 – GMHCN begins operation of the Peer2Peer Warm Line, providing peer support over the phone 24 hours a day

2009 – GMHCN Executive Director receives the 100th Anniversary Clifford Beers Award from Mental Health America

2010 – GMHCN receives SAMHSA funding for the Georgia Peer Support Resiliency Project, to develop and conduct resiliency training programs to encourage peers to personalize and utilize their resiliency plans

2010 – GMHCN partners with Emory University to provide CPSs with Whole Health Action Management training

2010 – GMHCN Executive Director awarded Isaiah Ullis Advocate Award by the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association

2010 – GMHCN supports the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse with the development of the Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist training

2010 – GMHCN receives SAMHSA funding for the Georgia Peer Support Resiliency Project, to develop and conduct resiliency training programs to encourage peers to personalize and utilize their resiliency plans

2010 – GMHCN receives a contract from DBHDD to provide administrative support for the Georgia Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council

2010 – GMHCN partners with Emory University to provide CPSs with Whole Health Action Management training

2011 – GMHCN partners with University of Illinois, Chicago to research the effectiveness of Certified Peer Specialists providing whole health and wellness support services

2011 – Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers are opened in both Bartow County and White County

2012 – The RESPECT Institute of Georgia partners with GMHCN

2013 – GMHCN receives a SAMHSA grant to develop the Whole Health Peer Workforce Development Project to provide Whole Health Action Management credentialing training to CPSs

2013 – GMHCN receives a contract from DBHDD to provide Mental Health First Aid training

2013 – GMHCN receives a contract from DBHDD to provide administrative support for the Georgia Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council

2014 – GMHCN supports the development of Georgia’s Definition of Recovery

2014 – GMHCN opens Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers in Henry County and Colquitt County

2015 – GMHCN begins support of Recovery Community Organization Development for the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse

2015 – Forensic Peer Mentoring Project Begins

2016 – Recovery Focused Transformation project launches

2016 – First Ken Whiddon Memorial Golf Tournament

2016 – PeerZone introduced into Georgia’s Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers

2017 – GMHCN supports the development of Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers in Australia and North Carolina

2018 – GMHCN joins the Fulton County Justice and Mental Health Task Force

2018 – GMHCN receives SAMHSA grant to develop a Georgia-specific Forensic Peer Mentoring Training Curriculum and conduct trainings for CPSs

2019 – GMHCN provides first Ready4Reentry Forensic Peer Mentor Training

2019 – SAMHSA’s Southeast Mental Health Technology Transfer Center partners with GMHCN to provide mental health technical assistance to organizations throughout the southeast

2019 – GMHCN introduces Mental Health Recovery Messaging Training to the CPS Project training curriculum

2019 – GMHCN begins providing All Recovery mutual support meetings at Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers

2020 – GMHCN relocates the home office from Decatur to Tucker

2020 – GMHCN joins the Veterans Administration/SAMHSA Governor's Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families

2020 – GMHCN provides first online Certified Peer Specialist Project training

2020 – GMHCN membership passes 6,000 members

2020 – Subscriptions to The Pipeline pass 5,000

2020 – GMHCN enters its first agreement with a private behavioral health provider through a contract with Kaiser Permanente to provide peer support in Georgia

2020 – GMHCN holds a ribbon-cutting at the site of the future Peer Recovery and Wellness Center in Augusta

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