The Respect Institute of Georgia

The RESPECT Institute of Georgia

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The RESPECT Institute of Georgia (RI), created by mental health advocate Joel Slack, supports participants in developing the skills necessary to transform their experiences of mental health and substance use challenges – and cross disabilities - into educational and inspirational presentations. The RESPECT Institute of Georgia helps participants organize, construct, and customize their personal stories of recovery and independent living so they can share their stories in diverse venues such as management meetings, legislative meetings, employee orientations, university classrooms, civic meetings, and continuing education programs.

The RESPECT Institute of Georgia is a 3 ½ day training program that empowers participants by acknowledging, by honoring and by valuing their personal experiences and insights. Through this recognition and acceptance, participants reclaim their sense of self.   They own their lived experiences without shame or embarrassment and become instrumental in eliminating stigma in the general public, in advancing the message of recovery and in educating the next generation of behavioral health professionals.

Through a partnership with Slack Consulting, Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and Mental Health America of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities sponsors 24 trainings and 420 speaking engagements annually.  Tony Sanchez, the Director of the DBHDD Office of Recovery Transformation Services oversees the implementation of the RESPECT Institute of Georgia. 

To date, the RESPECT Institute of Georgia team conducted over 150 RESPECT Institute of Georgia trainings statewide and graduated over 1,200 individuals who shared their stories to over 125,000 Georgians.

For more information about hosting or participating in a RESPECT Institute of Georgia training please contact:

Contact RESPECT Institute of Georgia Organizational Development Coordinator

Jen Banathy, CPS, CPS-AD


246 Sycamore Street
Suite 260
Decatur, GA 30030
United States

If you would like to invite a RESPECT Institute Graduate to share their story at your meeting or special event, please contact: