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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 7,000


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.

  • Facilitated Double Trouble in Recovery groups statewide for people in recovery from behavioral health challenges.

  • Published a quarterly newsletter called "The Pipeline."

  • Supported Recovery Through the Arts.

  • Implemented the Georgia Certified Peer Specialist Project.

  • Conducted the Georgia Consumer Satisfaction Survey.

  • Provided 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.

  • Conducted 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.


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:


E. Joseph Sanders

1745 Derry Ave

Atlanta, GA 30310

C:  404-245-5748



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


Fulton County

Region 3



Kathryn Thompson Ringel, AB, CPS-MH, TIC

107West Lynne Drive

Martinez, Georgia 30907-1347


Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network Board Member-

(706) 399-7015



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


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


Jefferson County

Region 2


Member at Large--South

Damion Gordon

114 Henry Court

Rincon, GA  31326

C: 404-957-7086


Effingham County


Belinda Wheeler


W: 770.298.1172


Bartow County


Kathryn (“Kat”) Thompson Ringel

C: 706 726-5620.


Columbia County

Troy Curry 

W: 706-755-0962

C: 706-825-3144


Richmond County


Nathaniel Wiggs

3240 Benjamin E. Mays Drive

Atlanta, GA  30311             

H:  404.699.1535

C:  404.695.4640


Fulton County



Linda Welch

PO Box 843

Thomasville, GA 31799

C: 229.403.5751


Thomas County


Tanya Welch

Boston, GA 

H: 229.393.6486

W: 404.695.5642


Thomas County

Region 5

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


Muscogee County


Beverly Ragland

Stockbridge, GA  

C:  404-512-0414


Henry 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


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 Transformation


Office of Recovery Transformation

2 Peachtree Street, NW

Suite 23 - 101

Atlanta, GA  30303

W:  404-463-7361


The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network is funded by grants, contracts, donations, and membership fees.

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