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

Pickens County Young Life banquet set for Oct. 19

Pickens County Young Life banquet set for Oct. 19 Pickens County Young Life will hold its...

Boy Scout Troop 20 honors scouts’ achievements

Boy Scout Troop 20 honors scouts’ achievements Boy Scout Troop 20, chartered by Big Canoe Chapel...

Louis Latour wine pairing dinner, pig roast coming to Sourwood

Louis Latour wine pairing dinner, pig roast coming to Sourwood Lora Engles, who is working on...

Ordinary guys, big hearts and Harleys

Ordinary guys, big hearts and Harleys They are small business owners, contractors, and veterans. They are...

Former Bachelorette contestant bringing new restaurant to Dawsonville

Former Bachelorette contestant bringing new restaurant to Dawsonville Giorgio’s Family Kitchen, a fixture in Cumming, Georgia’s...

Northside Hospital offers free prostate screening Sept. 14

Northside Hospital offers free prostate screening Sept. 14 Northside Hospital’s Cancer Institute is offering a free...

Dawson County recognized for governmental budgeting

Dawson County recognized for governmental budgeting The Government Finance Officers Association has recognized Dawson County with...

Annual Heart and Soul BBQ benefits local outreach groups

Annual Heart and Soul BBQ benefits local outreach groups A hint of fall in the air...

Locals head to Texas to keep 911 running in wake…

Locals head to Texas to keep 911 running in wake of Harvey When Matt Richardson, owner...

Fire station demolition paves way for next step

  Fire station demolition paves way for next step Thursday, Sept. 7, the next phase of the...

WalletHub study examines 2017’s best real-estate markets

WalletHub study examines 2017’s best real-estate markets With home sales recently falling to their lowest level...

Winter is coming - get prepared

Winter is coming - get prepared Given what the country has just experienced in Texas and...

Closed wooden bridge in Jasper hurts long-time restaurant icon

Closed wooden bridge in Jasper hurts long-time restaurant icon The closing of the wooden bridge on...

JeepFest is for the adventurous and a Crawl for the…

JeepFest is for the adventurous and a Crawl for the Children Sheriff’s JeepFest in Jasper is...

On board BC’s Eclipse Express

On board BC’s Eclipse Express While Big Canoe residents got a good view of the eclipse...

Advertisement

Advertisement

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

©2017 Big Canoe News