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Who We Are

Founded in 2009, Heads-Up Guidance Services (HUGS) is a non-profit organization making professional behavioral health counseling & addiction recovery services accessible to all motivated individuals who desire growth, independence, and emotionally healthy lifestyles.  Andrea Mamalakis Epting, HUGS’ founder and Managing Director, understands the critical need to provide counseling for those who are under-insured or lacking the financial means to pay the high cost of services. 
HUGS’ services are made possible by community donations and dedicated volunteers.  HUGS’ counselors all volunteer their time and expertise to make counseling affordable. They are committed to providing exceptional services to the Chatham County’s under-served population without using taxpayer dollars (i.e. government-funded programs such as Medicaid) as a funding source.  HUGS is bridging the gap in health services and filling a critical need – NOT at the expense of local taxpayers, but rather to the benefit of local employers and the Savannah community at large.

Nick Mamalakis

“People don’t care about how much you know

until they know how much you care.”

Nick Mamalakis

Our Mission
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Our Mission

To make exceptional behavioral health counseling accessible to all motivated individuals, and to train and utilize compassionate volunteer professionals to meet community counseling needs.

Our Vision

No one seeking professional counseling will be denied services. HUGS volunteers will continue to provide and expand their unique and unduplicated approach to filling the critical behavioral health needs in our community.

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Our Philosophy

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We believe that socially conscious therapists and motivated participants, along with community support can result in exceptional counseling services at no cost to the taxpayer.


We believe that every human being has value and should be treated with dignity and respect.

We believe in a holistic approach to counseling, addressing all aspects of the therapeutic process: emotional, mental, and spiritual.


We emphasize giving a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” by encouraging responsibility and accountability, and by promoting independence versus enabling and dependence.

We Need Your Support Today!

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