Office of Recovery Transformation

All individuals—regardless of condition, disability, or circumstance—have the right to pursue fulfilling lives in their communities. The Office of Recovery Transformation (ORT) helps make that possible.

We work with providers and community partners to infuse Georgia’s behavioral health system with an array of clinical and nonclinical services and supports that make treatment more recovery oriented. Ultimately, we aim to empower individuals to define and sustain recovery, wellness, and independence in their communities.

Our long-term commitment is to transform our behavioral health system into a recovery-oriented system of care (ROSC). This means that—together—we must continue to build a person-centered, strength-based continuum of care that promotes the right of all individuals to pursue their dreams. In addition, we must attend to the needs of the whole person, not to just their diagnosis or disability. So ORT aims not only to empower individuals using the behavioral healthcare system, but also to strengthen their families, environments, and communities.

We envision a behavioral health system in which all services and stakeholders across the state share an approach that is

  • focused on the individual as a whole and complex person
  • guided by lived experience
  • grounded in a peer workforce
  • built on a person’s strengths
  • strategic in scope and reach
  • integrated and inclusive of mental health, substance use, intellectual and developmental disabilities, children and adolescents, and primary care

ORT Priorities

At this juncture, ORT has three priorities:

  1. Align treatment with a recovery-oriented approach

    Through ORT, DBHDD seeks to create a recovery-oriented system of care that fully integrates the principles, practices, and values that allow the people we serve to live lives of recovery and independence in the community. Among other changes, ROSC initiatives will move our system away from a crisis-driven model of services to a prevention-focused, strength-based continuum of care that provides sustained support. Recovery-oriented treatment is based on the strengths, the wellness, and hopes of the person in recovery.

    As a system we have made tremendous progress integrating the language of recovery into our system of care. We are all familiar with many of the principles and values of recovery. ORT is working to help treatment providers operationalize what these principles and values mean for services. What does it mean for instance, to have a strength-based assessment process, and how do we ensure that services are person centered and promote choice, hope, and independence? ORT is helping providers figure out what this looks like in their real world settings. 

  2. Increase the integration of peer support services and promote a culture of peer leadership

    Georgia is a national leader in peer support services. In 1999, Georgia DBHDD became the first system in the nation to secure Medicaid payments for peer support services for individuals with mental illness. Next, we expanded Medicaid coverage to include Certified Addiction Recovery Services, and then Whole Health coaching. Most recently, in 2017, we added parent and youth peer support.

    We can build on this legacy. We have already developed peer support service infrastructure, training and certification processes, and payment mechanisms. Now is the time to work with our provider communities to fully integrate peer staff to expand our vision regarding the many ways in which peer staff can enhance our service system.

  3. Increase community supports for people in recovery

    Although people may initiate their recovery and wellness in service settings, they sustain their wellness in communities. Every community has strengths and resources that can be harnessed to support health along the whole continuum of care. Equipped with a range of information, resources, and open hearts, communities can help individuals with behavioral health disorders to get help early and better sustain wellness and recovery. Take a look at our major initiatives to learn about some of our efforts. 


For more information, please contact

Tony Sanchez, CARES, CADC
Director, Office of Recovery Transformation, DBHDD

Peer Recovery Information & Support Centers

Georgia’s Recovery Definition

The Power of Peers: A New Recovery Model (video)

RESPECT Institute