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The Starting Place of Transformation


In response to significant civil unrest in Fulton County, Georgia in 2020, the Fulton County Government Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities is partnering with the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network to build on existing and significant interest within the Fulton County behavioral health, advocacy, and criminal justice communities to create a trauma-informed, recovery-focused, peer-led community behavioral health center to provide peer support and connection to culturally responsive services to high-risk youth and families, and to promote resilience and equity for the person, the family, and the community. The working name of the center is The Starting Place of Transformation (The SPOT). 

The SPOT presents an opportunity to create true behavioral health innovation through the development of a trauma-informed typology of community behavioral health center that responds to the needs and experiences of people who have experienced disparity in the systems in place to support and protect them. Designed with input from the community, The SPOT will be located within a vibrant mixed-use urban development with appeal to young people, and will be staffed by people from that community who have lived experience of and recovery from violence, mental health and/or substance use concerns. The SPOT’s operations and services will be overseen by GMHCN, who will provide a peer-led, person-centered, non-clinical approach to recovery and wellness, and who will collaborate with an onsite Fulton County DBHDD employee who will ensure The SPOT serves as an entry point to clinical services for those who choose them, and as a recovery and wellness resource that clinicians may refer their clients to for support in the removal of barriers to long-term recovery, wellness, and resilience. 

The SPOT will work to connect program participants with other organizations in the community who are committed to creating equity in our community and our behavioral health systems. Connections to health, wellness, mentoring, vocational, educational, spiritual, social, and recreational resources will be critical to the success of this collaborative effort in helping people achieve their personal goals.

Community Partners for The SPOT:

A Community Needs and Resources Assessment is being planned for the fall of 2021. To join us or to learn more about how your or your organization can be part of this project, please email Chris Johnson at

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