Dave Saunders. Dave was born in Illinois and raised in Atlanta. He attended the University of Virginia (class of 1996), where he majored in Biology. After college, Dave completed a one year internship where he worked at a church in Falls Church, Virginia. Dave's faith journey is very important to him and he draws upon spirituality for help in his mental health recovery. Dave then worked for many years in retail and as a server in different restaurants before he pursued one of his dreams of going to graduate school. In 2007, Dave enrolled in Richmont Graduate University, a small counseling school in the Atlanta area. In 2012, he graduated from Richmont with Master's in Counseling. Dave then worked as a counselor for a year and a half at Georgia Counseling Center in Woodstock, Georgia. In 2013, Dave took time away from work to devote his efforts towards recovery from anxiety and depression.
Dave now is very involved in the mental health community in Atlanta. He is a Connections group facilitator for NAMI DeKalb and also volunteers weekly at Skyland Trail, a mental health treatment facility in DeKalb county. He also works part time at a local grocery store. Dave strives to be a mental health advocate and feels particularly passionate about creating opportunities for people with mental disabilities to live independently, to engage in some form of work, and to contribute their gifts and talents to the community.