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April, 2022

Spring is here, and like my mother, who loved poetry, always said,” and hope springs eternal.” It’s hard not to feel hope and renewal with trees budding, flowers blooming, beautiful blue skies, and the occasional torrential spring rain that proceeds a beautiful planting season.

2022 has been declared, by advocates, the year of Mental Health in Georgia. I, for one, am looking forward to what this means for our state. As I write this, the Legislators are meeting, and different components of the proposed legislation are being discussed. 

Many years ago, I came to Georgia’s mental health system seeking “help” for our daughter Dani. Much has changed over the years, but one thing remains constant. There are many more people in need of services than there are services. I have met many wonderful and brave people who have dedicated their lives to improving our systems through the years. Thank you.

Sue L. Smith Ed.D, MPH


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Certified Peer Specialist Training

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Training Opportunity

Certified Peer Specialist-Parent (CPS-P) and Certifed Peer Specialist-Youth (CPS-Y)

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Certified Peer Specialist - Parent (CPS-P): A parent or legal guardian (in a permanent relationship for at least three (3) years) certified by DBHDD who has the lived experience of raising a young person with either a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder and has supported that young person in an experience of recovery. 

Certified Peer Specialist - Youth (CPS-Y): A young adult between the ages of 18 and 30 certified by DBHDD who has lived experience of either a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder as a youth and is practicing recovery as related to that condition.

CPS-Parent FAQ

National Federation of Families

for Children's Mental Health

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2022 Conference | National Federation of Families

The only national conference dedicated solely to supporting families whose children - of any age - experience mental health and or substance use challenges during their lifetime.

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Georgia Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

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Transitonal Youth Peer Center

Congratulations and BRAVO!

You have the creativity and determination to do whatever you can dream. I hope you feel proud today and confident in your ability to rise to your next challenge


Britany Southall

Clayton State University


Deanta Smith

Albany State University


Peers visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights - Atlanta, GA

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

TFC Foster Parent Good News


We have three foster families that celebrated anniversaries in March.

Dwanika Harris-7 years of dedication

Teresita Sheffield- 7 years of dedication

Patrick Hundley-5 years of dedication

Each of these parents has adopted at least one child and continues to foster with the agency. We have The Best Foster Parents! 

Warmest Regards,

Quindland Hervey

Program Director

TFC will begin mandatory Pre-Service IMPACT training on April 2, 2022. 

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Training is held virtually via the ZOOM platform during April on

Saturdays from 9am -11am and

Wednesdays from 6pm-8pm.

Potential parents are allowed to miss no more than 1 class session or up to 2 hrs. This is an intense training in preparation for a family’s journey into foster care. 

IMPACT Schedule

Saturday, April 2 Modules 1 & 2

9am-10am: Module 1: Family Centered Practice: Introduction 

10am-11am: Module 2: Family Centered Practice: Partnership Parenting


Wednesday April 6 Modules 3 & 4

6pm-7pm: Module 3: Overview of CPS, Foster Care, and the Adoption Process

7pm-8pm: Module 4: Placement to Permanency


Saturday April 9 Modules 5 & 6 

9am-10am: Module 5: Forever Families and Adoption- 

10am-11am: Module 6: Partnership Parent Families and Birth Family Connections 


Wednesday April 13 Modules 7 & 8

6pm-7pm: Module 7: Impact of Trauma on Child Development  

7pm-8pm: Module 8: Separation, Grief and Loss 


Saturday April 16 Modules 9 & 10

9am-10am: Module 9: Attachment

10am-11am: Module 10: Educational and Mental Health Needs of Children 


Wednesday April 20 Modules 11 & 12

6pm-7pm: Module 11: The Hard Conversation: Sexual Abuse and Sexuality 

7pm-8pm: Module 12: Encouraging and Managing Healthy Behaviors


Saturday April 23 Modules 13 & 14

9am-10am: Module 13: Transcultural Parenting 

10am-11am: Module 14: Preparing for Placement

Youth Motivating Others through

Voices of Experience (MOVE) National

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Youth MOVE Georgia




April 2, 2022

1:00 - 2:30 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

May 7th

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

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


Alcohol Use Among Girls and Young Women: A Worrying Trend

For at least the past two decades, data showed that boys and young men were more likely to drink than girls and young women. However, an unsettling trend has taken hold: Data now show that girls and young women, ages 12 to 20, are drinking more alcohol than their male counterparts.

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Georgia Parent Support Network, Inc.

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

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