Retreat, Recover, and Restart

an atlanta center for mental health staff member helping a patientWe believe that the culture and staff at each of our facilities can be the difference-maker for every individual in our care. Each Atlanta Center for Mental Health staff member brings a combination of education, training, professional certifications, and hands-on experience.

Approaching recovery and mental health treatment from a variety of disciplines and therapeutic modalities allows our teams to create a truly comprehensive, individualized treatment plan for every client.

Each member of our team will facilitate your success and be on your side at every turn. The Atlanta Center for Mental Health staff serves as a resource and a role model to help you live a happy, fulfilled life.

AURIELLE WILLIAMS PHOTO 2Dr. Aurielle Williams

Regional Executive Director

Regional Executive Director of Georgia at TruHealing Addiction & Mental Health Centers. Dr. Williams is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Supervisor and Domestic Mediator. In her professional capacity, Dr. Williams has been in clinical practice for several years specializing in trauma, suicide awareness and prevention, as well as family preservation. Dr. Williams attended Auburn University where she earned her undergraduate degree and continued her academic journey at Mercer University School of Medicine, where she received her master’s degree. Dr. Williams continued her academic pursuit at Walden University where she earned her doctorate degree in Human and Social Services. Most recently, Dr. Williams also completed her MBA in Healthcare Administration.

jason flaig director of operations atlanta center for mental health staffJason Flaig, BA

Director of Operations

What sets Atlanta Center for Mental Health apart from other treatment centers?

Here at Atlanta Detox Center, we create a customized program based on the individual’s needs. We also offer the latest in medical addiction treatment combined with clinical therapy to provide comprehensive service that treats the whole person.

What draws you to this field?

For years I struggled with addiction issues of my own, which allows me to relate to the individuals we serve. It is important for me to use my personal experience to give back and make a difference in our patients’ lives. I had the opportunity to change my life, and I want nothing more but to afford the same opportunities for individuals seeking help.

Juanita JacksoonJuanita Jackson

Director of Nursing

I joined the medical team at Atlanta Detox Center and Atlanta Center for Mental Health in December 2021. Prior to working for Amatus Health, I was a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Piedmont Hospital and engaged in part-time contractor work as a Mental Health Clinical Assessor for Eastchester Family Services.

Over the past twelve years, I’ve worked with individuals suffering with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). I’ve received training in various therapeutic approaches, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CT-R), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Prime Solutions, and the Matrix Model.

One rewarding part of my work is the relationships I can build with clients. Clients are aware that our department is there to do more than just take vitals and pass medications. We provide them a listening ear and help them feel some control over their medication regimen. Our location is also unique in that we offer GeneSight testing for little to no cost, which helps individuals discover the psychiatric medications that may work best for them.

I am glad to be part of the Amatus team, and am looking forward to growing in my position and within the company.

Juanita Jackson, BSN, RN, LPC, is the Director of Nursing at Atlanta Detox Center and Atlanta Center for Mental Health. She earned a BS in Biology from Dillard University, an MS in Community Counseling from Columbus State University, and a BS in Nursing from Brenau University.

jess johnson clinical director atlanta center for mental health staffJess Johnson, MS, LPC, Master Level RRT Practitioner

Clinical Director

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

Jessica Loper Johnson. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Master Addiction Counselor, and Rapid Resolution Trauma Therapist (this means neurolinguistic and hypnotherapy for trauma resolution).

Where did you grow up?

South Atlanta—right where our facility is located 😊

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

University of South Carolina Aiken (BA in Communications, BS in Psychology, college athlete) Clayton State University (Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology)

What is your passion for working in the treatment field?

I am a grateful recovering woman! As a college athlete, I grappled with a severe ED and addiction. I went through the MCG Hospital in Augusta; I got well enough to start the remaining years of my volleyball career and receive many accolades, however I was not sold on being an addict or alcoholic, or someone who couldn’t pick up her ED casually. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and needed a lot of therapy and a bottom before I realized I could not be perfect or fix myself.

The rooms eventually saved my life. I was a college professor drinking every day and living a double life. The woman who is my grandsponsor today brought me back into the rooms. I have been blessed thoroughly since July 4, 2017.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

Signing charts lol, teaching therapists, and healing clients to the best of my ability.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Seeing people start to love themselves; that’s the shit.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

We have a great core, centered around true recovery.

Anything else you want to include in your bio?

We are expecting our first son (kid in general), and my hubs is 6 years clean and sober as well; what a miracle he is ❤.

original michael group facilitatorOriginal Michael, Masters in Forensic Psych, Masters Addiction Counselor, CADC-II

Group Facilitator

I bring over 20 years’ experience and passion working with the mental health and addiction population, helping people stay clean and resilient. I have overcome these challenges myself; I want to be all that I needed someone to be when I was struggling. I develop a rapport with clients by using a sincere, emphatic, authentic, and non-judgmental approach.
I have been a Board Member of PAIMI, the advisory board for Georgia Office Advocacy (GOA), where I advocate for the rights of people who live with disabilities and mental health and substance abuse challenges. I sit on the Advisory Board for DBHDD, advocating for programs that treat clients who have challenges with the greatest measure of respect. In 2019, I was named by GACA the GA Counselor of the Year.

I have also been on various radio stations (V-103, 1300 AM) advocating for and educating about those suffering from addiction. In 2020, Porsche Foxx of channel 5 news awarded me the distinguish award from the David and Bozeman law firm. I have had guest appearances on the show “Love and Hip Hop”, and have become a regular on the show “Keeping it 1K With Little Scrappy.”

Original Michael, CADC-II, MAC, CCS, CAMS, CPS, is a Primary Therapist at Atlanta Detox Center. He has worked hard to position himself to help others. He has a master’s degree in forensic psychology, a graduate level certification in family and marriage counseling, a CACII, CADCII, MAC, CCS, CAMS, and CPS, and is presently in a doctoral program.

Ashley Bonhomme TherapistAshley Bonhomme

Therapist

What drew you to working in the field of substance use treatment?

Like many people, I come from a family that has been impacted by addiction. It was truly serendipitous that my first opportunity to work in the field of behavioral health allowed me to work with individuals seeking healing from addiction. I was never able to witness my loved one attain healing in recovery, but I have had the honor of being a part of this process for many other families over the last ten years of service in this field.

What makes Atlanta Center for Mental Health stand out?

The environment at Atlanta Center for Mental Health is one of real love and genuine support. The staff here go out of their way to meet the needs of clients and create a welcoming atmosphere for all who walk through the door. In the field of behavioral health, there is an expectation that you will be met with challenges, and being a part of such a compassionate and encouraging team helps to keep me operating at full capacity even on the most difficult days.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s extremely rewarding to be of service to individuals and families facing some of the most difficult obstacles in their lives. I consider it a blessing as well as my charge in life to serve others. Being called to do this work is a privilege.

Shialla Warren

Director of Nursing

Robyn GoodartRobyn Goodart, BA, CADC-T

Therapist

What drew you to working in the field of substance use treatment?

I was personally drawn to the field of substance use treatment because of the effect that addiction has had on my life and on my family. There is a need for more understanding about the disease of addiction and a direct need for more support for those who suffer and their families. I feel that this field is one that has been slow to grow in so many ways, and the more people who band together to support it, the better off it will be in the future.

What makes Atlanta Center for Mental Health stand out?

Atlanta Center for Mental Health stands out because of the individuals who come together each day to make this amazing place run smoothly. The Atlanta Center for Mental Health staff put in their hearts into their work with the clients each day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

By far, the most rewarding part of my job is working directly with the clients and their families. Connecting with people is one of the greatest parts of life.

Sophelia Russ, BS

Primary Therapist

Sophelia Russ, B.S., is a Primary Therapist at Atlanta Center for Mental Health. Russ received their B.S. in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University in 2017, and her M.S.W. degree from Georgia State University in 2022. She joined the clinical team at Atlanta Center for Mental Health, GA in 2020.

Russ works with mental health and substance abuse clients. She offers supportive therapy using cognitive behavioral techniques, employing solution-based and reality therapy practices, and addressing family and relational dynamics. In using cognitive behavioral techniques, Russ provides clients the opportunity to address behaviors such as suicidal ideation, self-medicating, and thoughts of revenge by reconstructing their past beliefs.

What drives your passion to work in this field?

I enjoy working in this field because I get to offer clients relapse prevention, cognitive control, more vital relationship skills, and self-care options

What makes Atlanta Center for Mental Health stand out?

The location stands out in its quest to apply holistic as well as evidence-based approaches to our clients.

What is the most rewarding part of working at Atlanta Center for Mental Health?

The most rewarding part of working at TruHealing Riverdale is helping clients shift from a place of pain to a place of love.

Marc Wiltshire Alumni CoordinatorMarc Wiltshire

National Director of Family and Alumni Programming

What drew you to working in the substance use treatment field?

I was able to create a life of recovery at 22 years old, and it is what gave me my life back. Working to bring anybody who walks through our doors the opportunity to do the same brings me joy.

What makes Atlanta Center for Mental Health stand out?

The extensive knowledge about the disease of addiction and alcoholism and the understanding each staff member has makes Atlanta Center for Mental Health stand out. Coming into work is a different atmosphere. We feel we give back into the family dynamic as well as being significant to the community and workplace.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

There are countless rewards in this job. Being able to see someone come in day one and completely change the landscape of their life is a blessing to witness, but I think the connections made along the way and getting to know families and being a support in treatment and beyond is the most rewarding experience to be a part of.

Dr. James Craig

Medical Director

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

James Christopher Craig. I do the medical directorship for Atlanta Detox, Atlanta Center for Mental Health, and Georgia Addiction Treatment Center.

Where did you grow up?

South Fulton County, Atlanta.

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

I went to undergrad at Emory University in Atlanta, where I was a Biology major. Then I went to Medical College of Georgia and got my medical degree.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose).

The first part of my career was during active addiction. I became a family medicine physician and was moderately successful, despite my best efforts at times. When I went into treatment, I was taken care of by addiction medicine physicians. When I left treatment, I started working on becoming an addiction medicine professional.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

Basically, head-to-toe care. I assess addictive disorders and decide on detox regimens if necessary, as well as any co-occurring disorders. I also help guide recovery modalities, whether it’s 12 steps, CBT, trauma therapies; I don’t initiate any of those therapies, I just decide whether they’re appropriate and then guide them in the right direction.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Having a patient identify that they’re not alone. Addiction is a disease that grows in isolation, so the therapeutic value of one alcoholic helping another is without parallel. Having a patient see that they don’t have to continue to keep doing things over and over and expecting different results—and that the loneliness doesn’t have to part of the disorder.

The medical is pretty cut and dry; there are certain things you do medically that are just accepted. But the greater part is leading them in a direction to get deeply adherent to a recovery program.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

What I’ve seen is that they understand the great nature of this thing. One of the problems right now in the mental health and addiction field is that there’s not a lot of evidence-based standard of care. You can have two people with the same disorder; one goes to one treatment center and one goes to another, and they could potentially receive vastly different care. That’s a problem.

Let’s say two people have coronary artery disease—they’re going to receive the same care, down to the milligram of medication. Why isn’t that the case with something we know is a brain-based disorder? It’s because there are still strongly held false beliefs about the way to treat it.

When I stuck my toe in the water at Amatus, I saw that they really do care about the standard of care. As a scientist—not just a person in recovery—if we’re not talking about numbers, we’re not talking about reality. I need to know that the facility I’m with cares about that, and from what I can tell Amatus does.

Anything else you want to include in your bio?

I have two books. Being a Drug Addict: Other Secrets of Life is published under my name. The second, Push Down and Turn: Under and Above the Influence, is published under my pen name, Kiffer Cole, M.D.

Besides that, not so much—everything springs forth from sobriety. Everything else is just a wonderful extraneous detail.

Maria Holder, PMHNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, RN Supervisor

Nurse Practitioner

Mahogany Ellis

Regional Clinical Director

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

Mahogany Ellis LPC, Regional Clinical Director GA

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small suburban town outside of Chicago called Elgin, IL. Go Bears!

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

I am a proud HBCU Grad of Fisk University, where I studied Psychology. I have a Master’s in community counseling from Argosy University.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose)

My passion for this field is really in helping people. Helping others when they lack the skills, resources, or insight on how to begin healing.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

I lead and oversee the clinical program for GA. I provide mentor, supervise, and provide trainings for staff.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Working with the staff, helping them grow so they can be better with the clients we serve.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

The staff! Hands down, our staff’s skills and ability to relate to our clients is unmatched.

Christina Ozelis, BSN, MS.c, RN, NCC

Director of Nursing

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

My name is Christina Ozelis, and I am the Director of Nursing at Atlanta Detox Center and Atlanta Center for Mental Health.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up on Long Island.

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

I did my first bachelor’s in psychology at Stony Brook University with a minor in Adapted Aquatics, because I’ve always known I wanted a career helping people live their best lives! I then got my MSc in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a focus in substance abuse counseling at LIU Post. I worked in advising and counseling for a while before making a career switch into nursing. I got my BSN from Emory University because I knew I wanted to go into psychiatric medicine/nursing. I am currently attending Duke University for their Psychiatric-Mental Health Doctorate in Nursing Practice program!

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose)

Growing up on Long Island in the punk/music scene, I watched a lot of my friends struggle with early alcohol and opioid addiction, as well as mental health problems. I lost a few friends and saw for myself the limited options for treatment, with a low number of open beds or funding for care. I wanted to make a difference so that others wouldn’t have to lose friends to substance use or suicide, and now here I am!

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

I do many things here! I lead and represent a team of 20 or so nurses to provide the most amazing patient care; I make sure our patients are getting the medical care they need and facilitate resources as necessary; I help strengthen our facility policies/procedures; I’m the facility LGBTQA+ facilitator and educator, and thanks to my counseling background, I am able to assist the clinical team where needed!

What is your favorite part of your job?

Being able to help our clients in a number of ways, and making a difference for them for the rest of their lives.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

Amatus really focuses on the client as an individual—you’re not just a medical record number here. You’re an individual who is worthy of respect and recovery, and we really emphasize this in our treatment approach. We also are here for our clients from the moment they contact us to aftercare and beyond!

Andrew Widota East PointAndrew Widota

Director of Operations

What is your full name, title, and the location you work out of?

Andrew Widota, Director of Operations for both Georgia Addiction Treatment Center and Atlanta Detox/Atlanta Center for Mental Health.

Where did you grow up?

Monroe Township, New Jersey.

Where did you go to school? Collegiate degree? What was your focus of study?

Monroe Township High School/Middlesex County College (Criminal Justice)-not complete.

What is your passion for working in the treatment field? (You can share your own recovery story, or you don’t have to disclose)

My passion in this field stems from my personal experience with addiction. My clean date is January 8th, 2015. Multiple treatment stays are part of my personal journey, so I strive to operate facilities based on client care, and help as many people as humanly possible.

What do you do for your job? List a few responsibilities.

Handle day-to-day operations of both facilities. Work hand-in-hand with clinical staff to promote exceptional client care.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is being able to help people who are struggling with similar issues to what I dealt with in the past.

What do you think sets Amatus apart from other treatment centers?

The difference between Amatus and other centers is the communication and structure between all facilities. When transitioning levels of care, the process is smooth and seamless.

Anything else you want to include in your bio?

I have extensive training in clinical, medical, and operational compliance. I was trained for three and a half years by a consulting company that focuses strictly on healthcare/behavioral health.

/Cody Moniz

Regional Director of Family and Alumni Services

What drew you to working in the addiction treatment field?

One day my mentor asked me a question. He said, “what would you like to do with your life?”.After a week of deliberation I came back to him and replied, “I think I’d like to help people.” That simple question put me on the path of working in the field of recovery. As a person who is in recovery myself, I feel that my own personal journey puts me in a unique position to help others who are just like me!

What makes Atlanta Center for Mental Health stand out?

We look at every individual who comes into this facility as just that, an individual. We do our best to try to work in the parameters of how to best suit every individual’s needs. We look at everybody for what they are, which are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

They say that if you love what you do you never work a day in your life! I love everything here, from the residents who bring their own unique flair to the table to my clinical team who make every day a fun and new experience.

maybelle therapy dogMaybelle

Therapy Dog

Maybelle was a rescue after being a breeder dog for her first year and a half of life. She is now a certified therapy animal and spends her days comforting and playing with the clients and staff at ADC\/ACMH. Maybelle has yet to meet anyone she didn’t immediately love. The presence of an animal during therapy is believed to enhance the therapeutic alliance and to reduce anxiety during treatment. Maybelle is a valued member of the Atlanta Center for Mental Health staff!