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The mission of the Georgia Peer Policy Collective is to empower the diverse mental health recovery community of Georgia to actively shape and influence mental health legislation and policy in Georgia through education, advocacy, and community building.

The Guiding Principles of the GPPC:

·       magnify the voices of individuals with lived experiences of mental health and substance use challenges.

·       advocate for legislation that guarantees easier access to effective mental health services for all Georgians.  

·       provide our peers with the information they need about policies that directly affect their lives.

·       support what makes mental health services unique in Georgia: the peer support workforce.

·       embrace that diversity (in membership and in recovery paths) is our strength as we tackle the diverse needs of Recovery.



The Georgia Peer Policy Collective "the Collective" was established in spring of 2022 to serve multiple functions necessitated by the scope and scale of Georgia's Mental Health Parity Act. An Advisory Committee of Georgia's mental health leaders and allies was formed to guide the establishment of the Collective. This committee will continue to serve in an advisory capacity on state policy matters to GMHCN and to the Collective. There are two main areas where GMHCN sees opportunities for improvement in its advocacy work, and both can be improved through functions of the Collective.

The first function the Georgia Peer Policy Collective will perform is the deeper inclusion of the peer voice in the Network’s own advocacy efforts.  The emergence of multiple complex pieces of mental health legislation being considered and frequently amended simultaneously and/or in real-time has changed what GMHCN needs to be able to effectively represent the mental health recovery community. For three decades, GMHCN collected the priorities of members at its annual conference. Historically, GMHCN effectively used the data from those surveys (along with other inputs, such as outcomes of listening sessions) to represent the peer perspective in legislative matters. That has changed now with the volume and complexity of the mental health legislation being designed to completely reinvent most every administrative aspect of behavioral healthcare in Georgia. GMHCN needs to be able to respond more nimbly when quick-moving pieces of legislation or changes to them are introduced at the Capitol.

Because at GMHCN, policy views are formed by our membership—and not dictated to them—and GMHCN believes it is imperative for them to be able to access the views of its members in real-time or as close to it as possible. When things appear from out of left field, like last year’s legislative session, such as when mobile crisis teams were provided the authority to involuntarily hospitalize citizens on the street in the final house version of the Mental Health Parity Act [this was eliminated before passage]. While GMHCN was very confident its members would not support that particular piece of legislation; they had also never asked them specifically about mobile crisis teams having the ability to 10-13 people. The Collective’s Regional Representatives will have the ability to do this.

The second function the Georgia Peer Policy Collective will perform is to serve as a clearinghouse for those many people and organizations who came out so strongly in support of mental health last year, identifying themselves as our ally while supporting legislation intended to make it easier to lock us up, put our names in registries police can access while giving us traffic tickets, and all sorts of unpleasant things most people would guess were planned for us by our worst enemy. When you support people locking me away, coercing me into treatment, or otherwise acting against my personal goals, hopes, and aspirations, you are not, in fact, my ally. But what about when a person or organization proclaims this publicly? And loudly? And repeatedly? We believe there should be a core set of principles or values that people identifying themselves as allies or supporters of the mental health recovery community must adhere to, and we are in the procewss of developing those now (winter 2022-2023). 


The Georgia Peer Policy Collective’s goal is to raise awareness of and advocate for recovery-oriented mental health policy in Georgia.

There are representatives in each of the six Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability regions in Georgia. The Regional Representatives are responsible for reaching out to peers, providers, legislators, community leaders, and the community at large, advocating for the policies chosen by GMHCN’s membership. This can look different in every region and will include hosting events at Peer Support, Wellness & Respite Centers, engaging peers and CPS’s across the state to visit with local legislators, writing letters to the editor of newspapers, contacting news outlets, posting on social media, and more.

The Regional Representatives will participate in Advocacy & Policy Training with well-respected professionals and allies chosen by the Advisory Committee. They will also meet with the Advocacy Engagement Coordinator to collaborate and plan events in their respective regions.


The Advisory Committee is working to establish a robust and effective framework for the future of mental health advocacy in Georgia.



The Georgia Peer Policy Collective Advisory Committee (“the Committee”) was responsible for drafting the first set of by-laws and for the selection of the first set of peer volunteers to serve on the Collective.

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