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 6,000


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

  1. Affordable, accessible, and supported housing

  2. Increased wages for Certified Peer Specialists

  3. Access to affordable medical, dental, eye care, and medication

  4. Employment and supported employment

  5. 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.


Belinda Wheeler


W: 770.298.1172

Email: belindawheeler21@yahoo.com

Bartow County


Kathryn (“Kat”) Thompson Ringel

C: 706 726-5620.

Email: legnir6@gmail.com

Columbia County

Troy Curry 

W: 706-755-0962

C: 706-825-3144

Email: tlcurry82@gmail.com

Richmond County


Nathaniel Wiggs

3240 Benjamin E. Mays Drive

Atlanta, GA  30311             

H:  404.699.1535

C:  404.695.4640

Email: wiggsnate@aol.com

Fulton County



Linda Welch

PO Box 843

Thomasville, GA 31799

C: 229.403.5751

Email: welchlinda8@gmail.com

Thomas County


Tanya Welch

Boston, GA 

H: 229.393.6486

W: 404.695.5642

Email: twelch89@yahoo.com

Thomas County

Region 5

Kathryn Schrieber

107 Breckenridge Drive

Brunswick, GA 31520

H: 912.230.3843

Email: Kath2004_7@hotmail.com

Glynn County


JoAnn Baldwin

204 Jackson Street

East Dublin, GA 31027

H: 478.275.4021

Laurens County



Robert Lowrey

940 Moore Road

Columbus, GA  31904

C:  229.894.9747

Email: rologa1@aol.com

Muscogee County


Beverly Ragland

Stockbridge, GA  

C:  404-512-0414

Email: Prism721@yahoo.com

Henry County


E. Joseph Sanders

1745 Derry Ave

Atlanta, GA 30310

C:  404-245-5748

Email: ernest.sanders@va.gov

Email: ejsand36@gmail.com

Fulton County

Region 3


Vice President

Janet G. Reasons

1268-B Westridge Rd. SW

Atlanta, GA 30311

W:  404.875.0381

C:  770-837-5841

Email: jreasons@communityfriendship.org

Fulton County

Region 3



Natalie Davis

Dalton, GA 

C: 706-271-6132


Whitfield County

Region 1



Goldie Mae Marks

844 West Doyle Street

Toccoa, GA  30577-1754

C:  706.297.1475

P:  706.827.9937 between 8am-3pm

Fax:  706.827.0085

Email: goldiemarks12@gmail.com

Stephens County

Region 1



Member at Large—North

La Merilyn Hawkins

1228 Midville Hwy 78

Wadley, GA 30477

W: 706-304-8229

C: 706-504-2640

Email: HawkinsLa@yahoo.com

Jefferson County

Region 2


Member at Large--South

Damion Gordon

114 Henry Court

Rincon, GA  31326

C: 404-957-7086

Email: damiongordon3@gmail.com 

Effingham County

Advisory Board


Linda Buckner

Thomson, GA 

McDuffie County

Region 2


Larry Fricks

1727 Turner’s Corner Rd.

Cleveland, GA 30528

C: 404-375-1813

Email: email@larryfricks.org

Lumpkin County

Region 1


Willie H. Woods

1700 Melrose Drive

Albany, GA  31707-4231

H:  229.889.0080                

Dougherty County

Region 4


Director of the

Office of Recovery


Tony Sanchez, CADC, CARES


Office of Recovery Transformation

2 Peachtree Street, NW

Suite 23 - 101

Atlanta, GA  30303

W:  404.463.7361

Email: tony.sanchez@dbhdd.ga.gov