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June 2022

I write this on Memorial Day, and I thank the men and women and their families who have kept our country safe. My father and step-father were veterans of WWII, and I know first-hand their wonderful service and the price they paid. I thank them from the bottom of my heart, but I know they did not do it alone. Veterans and families, thanks to you all. 

Summer is just around the corner and we are at the end of a spring that has been beautiful. My vegetable garden has never looked better and still, it has taken me several days to force myself to sit down and write. I am feeling kind of low and everything is better than it has been for a while right? I kept wondering why and a few minutes ago it became crystal clear. Nineteen innocent children and 2 young teachers are dead. They have been murdered by a child, a very young person barely old enough to quality for our Transition Age Youth Peer Center.

Until I sat down to write, I did not fully realize how much this has affected me in the last few days. I feel kind of sick. My mind has taken me to a great many places. I would like to know more about the shooter and perhaps we will in days to come but I bet we never really know. Then the great debate begins all over again as it does every time one of the mass murders happens. Regulate guns and/or provide more perhaps better mental health services. One of those will cost little while the other will cost trillions if we begin to meet the mental health needs of the people of this country. However, I am not writing about “the great debate”, collectively we as a nation have beat those conversations to death. I am writing about what I believe I do best. When I was the age of the children that were murdered 4th-5th grade, I had severe anxiety disorder and occasionally I still do. I do not believe I would have ever recovered from such an event no matter how many agencies provided therapy if I had been in that school.

Then my thoughts turn to my great grandchild who is my very heartbeat and obviously has nothing to do with this incident. Yet, it will have something to do with him. The innocence of youth and trust will, to some degree, be lost forever to him and millions of children that are the future of our country. I wish I could read the history books 50 years from now and see how we are portrayed. I do not believe it is okay to say this or that thing does not work and offer no solution. However, I have none, but obviously something is seriously wrong. We are a country of great minds. I beg you let’s not just play the same conversations over and over and do NOTHING. I wish for us all a great summer and a time of holding those we love and care for very close.

Sue L. Smith Ed.D, MPH


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Hello everyone! We have been planning and preparing Georgia for the largest transformation in behavioral health crisis response our state has ever seen. The rollout of the 988-dialing code comes at a time when mental health is front and center in Georgia and across the country.

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Community Well-Being Index - Sharecare

Discover powerful insights generated by the Community Well-Being Index, which can be used to create a healthier world through knowledge, information and action.

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As more schools, school systems, advocacy groups, and communities consider the role of student health and community well-being as factors in student education outcomes, I know many of them are looking for data resources. I want to bring to your attention the Sharecare Community Well-Being Index which was developed in partnership with the Boston University School of Public Health. The Sharecare Community Well-Being Index (CWBI) brings together over 600 research-proven health risk factors into a single measure. By combining both individual and community health determinants, the CWBI is based on decades of clinical research, healthcare data, and health economics and includes regular surveys within every community in each state. Then the interactive data for each community (Georgia) is indexed on a scale from 0 to 100. The CWBI uniquely measures well-being across people and places and is being used by schools, school systems, advocates, communities, and others to identify factors that impact individual and community health. The CWBI is being used as a measure-of-progress tool, also. The CWBI website, including the interactive dashboard, is freely available to the public.

Garry McGiboney, Ph.D.  

Executive Director |Government and Education Programs 

Certified Peer Specialist Training

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 Training Opportunity

Certified Peer Specialist-Parent (CPS-P)

Deadline for Applications is June 8, 2022

The Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD), Office of Children, Young Adults & Families, and the Office of Recovery Transformation, along with Georgia Parent Support Network are pleased to announce that we are accepting applications for the Parent CPS-P training scheduled for June 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 2022 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm with breaks provided. This training will be a 5-day training and will require a full commitment. This training will be offered virtually on Zoom. 


If you are interested in applying for this training, please submit your application and letter of reference to by Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 5pm so that we can extend the offer to others who may be interested if you are unable to commit to these dates.


Parent Certified Peer Specialist (CPS-P) Is the parent or legal guardian (in a permanent relationship for at least 3 years) of a child who is living with a mental health, substance use, or a co-occurring diagnosis who provides support to other parents who are raising a child with similar behavioral health conditions.


Candidates must be the parent or legal guardian of a child living with mental illness, substance use and/or co-occurring diagnosis; and must


1. Be currently employed doing Parent Peer Support; or

2. Be currently employed in the public sector Behavioral Health system as a paraprofessional and have the desire to distinguish themselves as a Parent CPS-P; or

3. Have related experience serving youth and families through participation in community volunteering, support groups, family organizations and/or advocacy.

4. Priority will be given to those who are currently providing peer support services and those who intend to work in that role.

5. Be able to commit to a 5-day training.


Please find the application along with eligibility requirements outlined in the announcement below. Applications along with documentation must be submitted by Wednesday, June 8, 2022. If you have any questions, contact Anita Speed at

Download Application
Submit Application

National Federation of Families

for Children's Mental Health

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Download Resources

Georgia Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

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Transitonal Youth Peer Center

Graduation Celebration!

Congratulations, Deanta, on your graduation from Tri-Cities High School.  Today will be only the first of many proud, successful moments for you. We are all sending warm congratulations today and wishing you all the best at Albany State University in the fall!


Are You A Transitioning Adult in Need of Peer Support?

The Peer Center provides training, life skills, mentoring, and peer support to youth transitioning into adulthood (17 -26) that child and adolescent mental health services no longer serve. At the Center, peers strive to support one another to meet their goals, including improvements in education, employment, and community life adjustment.

For enrollment information contact

Sheena Biggerstaff

Peer Center Supervisor

Therapeutic Foster Care

New Foster Parent Informations Sessions

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TFC will offer potential foster parent informational sessions weekly for the entire month of JUNE 

Register in advance for this meeting using the button below. 

Potential Parents should attend only one session.


Jun 2nd , 9th , 16th 23rd , or 30th 2022 @ 11:00 AM -1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Register Now

Youth Motivating Others through

Voices of Experience (MOVE) National

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Hill Day at Home 2022 - Youth MOVE National

Have you heard of Hill Day at Home? Each year, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing hosts the largest virtual mental health and substance use advocacy event of its kind - a chance to hear from policy experts and to demand action from your elected officials.

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Youth MOVE Georgia




June 4, 2022

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Be Heard

Who knows you better than you? Parents, caregivers, therapists, probation officers, and teachers often don't understand where you are coming from. Learning to advocate for yourself respectfully is a skill you will use for the rest of your life. Through conferences, training, and chapter meetings, you will learn valuable techniques to be heard when making decisions about your future.

Upcoming Meeting Dates

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST

Who can join? Anyone between the ages of 14 and 29. When do we meet? The 1st Saturday of each month

June 4th

July - No Meeting

August 6th

September 3rd

October 1st

November 5th

December 3rd

If you are interested in joining us for our statewide meeting, please contact

Sheena Biggerstaff | Youth M.O.V.E. Georgia Coordinator

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

Georgia's 9-8-8 Rollout Update

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


Georgia Parent Support Network, Inc.

1381 Metropolitan Parkway Atlanta, GA 30310 | (404) 758-4500

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