SmokeSignals Logo Large

        digitaledition3

Neill Blake

Neill Blake

By Calvert Johnson, chair, The Knowledge Series  

“Ending the Silence: Shedding the Light on Mental Illness” is the topic of the January 2017 program of the Knowledge Series, featuring Neill Blake, past president of the Cobb County Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Millions of people suffer from mental illness, and one family in four is affected. It is one of the least understood diseases, in large part due to the feeling of shame, discrimination, sense of abandonment, isolation, ostracism by families and communities. Even faith communities can be part of the problem, suggesting that mental illness is a result of a lack of faith or unconfessed sin, or perhaps demon possession. Characterized as a persistent physiological brain disorder, mental illness requires medical treatment and care.

However, diagnosis can be life changing, just as is the case with diabetes, heart trouble and other diseases. While there is no cure, the symptoms of mental illness can be stabilized through appropriate medications and treatment, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Recovery requires support and services as well.

Formerly, the mentally ill were institutionalized in mental hospitals, but today a high percentage end up in prisons, which are not prepared to treat the symptoms and assist these inmates in living full lives. Blake will discuss these issues and recommendations for family members and communities.

Under her leadership, NAMI Cobb has expanded to include free weekly support groups, education classes several times a year, community and classroom presentations and a partnership with local law enforcement to provide mental health crisis intervention team training.

Neill holds an undergraduate degree from Clemson University and a master’s degree in business from Purdue University. After a career in management with International Paper Company, she is now a community volunteer with programs such as Meals on Wheels, MUST Ministries Summer Lunch Program and Club 3:30, an after-school program for latch-key children. She is also an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Marietta and has served several terms on the session as an elder. 

Neill and her husband Bill have three sons, one of whom has lived with serious and persistent mental illness for 15 years. He now lives a full life as a full-time college student in recovery from PTSD and major depression.

The presentation begins at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22, in the Mountains Grille Room of the clubhouse, preceded by beverages and conversation at 4 p.m. Reservations are required to ensure a $7 seat at the presentation by registering online on the www.bigcanoepoa.org website listing of upcoming events, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Attendance is limited to the first 100 reservations. Registration at the door at the time of the program is $10.

Sponsored by the Big Canoe POA, The Knowledge Series supports life-long learning and offers compelling monthly presentations by dynamic speakers and discussion groups on literary, artistic, international, national and regional topics of interest and significance. Future programs of The Knowledge Series this season will include:

  • February 26: Robert Spano, Music Director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • March 12: Susan Booth, Director, Alliance Theatre
  • April 23: Ed Dyckman, cardiologist from Big Canoe
  • May 21: Peggy Still Johnson, Callanwolde.

Save

Save

Newest Stories - News

Dawson County pancake breakfast honors North Georgia veterans

Dawson County pancake breakfast honors North Georgia veterans Come enjoy an all-you-can-eat pancake extravaganza Saturday, April...

Leadership Big Canoe Volunteer Fair brings organizations, community together

Leadership Big Canoe Volunteer Fair brings organizations, community together The Leadership Big Canoe (LBC) Volunteer Fair...

Magical evening coming soon to the Big Canoe Clubhouse

Magical evening coming soon to the Big Canoe Clubhouse A magical evening of good food, good...

Team Big Canoe gets ready to walk for cancer research

Team Big Canoe gets ready to walk for cancer research In 2006 Carolyn Littell was on...

Dawson Chamber supports county’s hot business climate

Dawson Chamber supports county’s hot business climate Dawson County’s business climate is thriving. Over the past...

Dawson’s Thurmond to bring county report to Squires & Stags

Dawson’s Thurmond to bring county report to Squires & Stags Dawson County’s newly elected commission chairman...

Fire station groundbreaking a ‘great day’ for Big Canoe

Fire station groundbreaking a ‘great day’ for Big Canoe After design changes, budget tweaking, numerous committee...

Wine growers announce 2017 Wine Highway Week

Wine growers announce 2017 Wine Highway Week The Wine Growers Association of Georgia announces the dates...

POA’s March 16 work session packed with reports, updates

POA’s March 16 work session packed with reports, updates The Property Owners Association's March 16 work...

The covered bridge takes another hit and inconveniences Monday drivers…

The covered bridge takes another hit and inconveniences Monday drivers for the day For all the...

Pickens Seniors for Change working to cut property taxes for…

Pickens Seniors for Change working to cut property taxes for seniors The Pickens Seniors for Change...

Commander Hanley introduces ‘sixth uniform service’ to North Georgia Veterans

Commander Hanley introduces ‘sixth uniform service’ to North Georgia Veterans Commander George D. (Doug) Hanley, U.S...

Ruth House Ministries invites you to 2017 BBQ fundraiser

Ruth House Ministries invites you to 2017 BBQ fundraiser Ruth House, a Christian-based recovery facility for...

Troon, internet task force updates delivered at Community Coffee

Troon, internet task force updates delivered at Community Coffee Another sizable crowd attended the Saturday, March...

Reinhardt to launch Bachelor of Science nursing program in 2018

Reinhardt to launch Bachelor of Science nursing program in 2018 Reinhardt University in Waleska is launching...

Advertisement

Advertisement

SmokeSignals Online
11293 Big Canoe
Big Canoe, GA 30143
PH: 770-893-1594

©2017 Big Canoe News