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The fundamental design problem (presenting the GPPC approach to legislative advocacy in a memorable way that is visually connected to GMHCN) was approached in the following way:


First the DBHDD region map, the organizational basis for GPPC’s advocacy teams, was considered: Does this reflect the way we as Georgians live? Further, Does this reflect the way the mental health recovery community identifies itself? Or even receives services? The answer to each of these questions is No. In fact some of the most robust and effective services (such as Peer Support, Wellness, and Respite Centers) are only available in a few regions, and are inaccessible to most. 

The next step was to create a map that−however inarticulately−would better reflect how we as Georgians (and Georgians living in mental  health recovery) actually live our lives, beyond the service boundaries that guide the flow of funds and services from the state. It is important that our advocate volunteers understand the political boundaries that are the fraternal twins of the DBHDD boundaries, but also how little this matters to most Georgians who have groceries to buy and rent to pay. 

The final step in the conceptualization of the visual strategy was to identify a symbol recognizable at most any scale that could capture the idea of the six distinct regions being one unified Georgia, and the idea of the six-sided honeycomb cell presented itself as an ideal symbol because it at once satisfied that basic criteria but also opened up a world of positive representation associated with the productivity, efficiency, and loyalty of bees. By applying the shape of the cell at small scale to the abstracted region map, a state map emerges that more accurately describes how Georgia’s communities interact with one another while keeping to ourselves; how we support one another without fanfare; how we borrow and share ideas, and recipes, and clippings, and saplings, and starter dough, and how most of us have that one relative or friend who cannot go anywhere in the state without buttonholing some stranger and holding them captive in conversation until they can discover what mutual acquaintance they must have, and how they must be connected somehow; and, they almost always can identify that acquaintance or shared experience or event, because we almost always are all connected in some way.

Finding and building on those connections is how the Georgia Peer Policy Collective volunteers around the state will build support for the work we are doing: Listening to the needs of our neighbors and sharing them with those who can help. 

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