The mission of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network is to promote recovery through advocacy, education, employment, empowerment, peer support, and self-help, and to unite as one voice to support the priorities set each year at the annual statewide peer conference.
The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network is a Georgia Corporation founded in 1991 by consumers of state services for mental health, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases. It hosts one of the largest statewide annual consumer conferences in the nation. The corporation evolved from a meeting of 30 consumer leaders held in Tucker, Georgia in October of 1990. The membership is now over 4,500.
Since its inception, the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network has striven to improve the quality of life for Georgians living with behavioral health challenges by taking a leadership role in statewide and local initiatives that create positive change in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. A few key milestones include:
20 To Work By 2000 —The Consumer Network’s nationally acclaimed employment initiative strove to move 20 percent of all peers in day programs into jobs in the community.
Since 1992 has hosted one of the largest statewide annual peer conventions in the nation.
Provides Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) and WRAP for Work trainings statewide.
Facilitates Double Trouble in Recovery groups statewide for people in recovery from behavioral health challenges.
Publishes a quarterly newsletter called "The Pipeline."
Supports Recovery Through the Arts.
Implemented the Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project.
Conduct the Georgia Consumer Satisfaction Survey.
Provide Mental Health First Aid training.
Developed the Peer Mentoring Project to assist peers transitioning out of regional hospitals into communities.
Opened five Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers to provide peer support, daily wellness activities, 24/7 warm lines, and 3 respite beds per center.
Conduct the Georgia Peer Support Institute.
• Host an annual peer conference that promotes recovery and wellness, and identifies the top priorities of consumers of behavioral health services statewide.
• Promote employment with emphasis on quality jobs that foster true independence.
• Offer training opportunities for peers, including the Certified Peer Specialist Project and Whole Health Wellness Coaching.
• Support the development of new peer leaders through the Georgia Peer Support Institute.
• Support peer access to transportation.
• Support the expansion of Recovery Through the Arts and the Double Trouble in Recovery program.
• Promote peer supports and wellness, including the Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers.
2019-2020 top five priorities
Affordable, accessible, and supported housing
Increased wages for Certified Peer Specialists
Access to affordable medical, dental, eye care, and medication
Employment and supported employment
Greater access to behavioral health services for people who are homeless
The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network Board of Directors reflects the strength and diversity of Georgia's robust behavioral health recovery community. Current board members include:
The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network is funded by grants, contracts, donations, and membership fees.
Kathryn (“Kat”) Thompson Ringel
C: 706 726-5620.
3240 Benjamin E. Mays Drive
Atlanta, GA 30311
PO Box 843
Thomasville, GA 31799
107 Breckenridge Drive
Brunswick, GA 31520
204 Jackson Street
East Dublin, GA 31027
940 Moore Road
Columbus, GA 31904
E. Joseph Sanders
1745 Derry Ave
Atlanta, GA 30310
Janet G. Reasons
1268-B Westridge Rd. SW
Atlanta, GA 30311
Goldie Mae Marks
844 West Doyle Street
Toccoa, GA 30577-1754
P: 706.827.9937 between 8am-3pm
Member at Large—North
La Merilyn Hawkins
1228 Midville Hwy 78
Wadley, GA 30477
Member at Large--South
114 Henry Court
Rincon, GA 31326
1727 Turner’s Corner Rd.
Cleveland, GA 30528
Willie H. Woods
1700 Melrose Drive
Albany, GA 31707-4231
Director of the
Office of Recovery
Tony Sanchez, CADC, CARES
Office of Recovery Transformation
2 Peachtree Street, NW
Suite 23 - 101
Atlanta, GA 30303