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Previous Monthly Speakers


January – Eric Strunz

February – Jim Ford

March – Nathalie Ellis

April -Lynn Nanos

May – Teresa Lane

June -Tommy Nobis Center

August – Aarti Sahgal, Founder, Synergies Work Inc.

September – Stacey Walker, Sr., Wounded Warrior Project


January 18: NAMI Smarts for Advocacy Workshop

March 15: Dr. Brian Moore, founder of the Intervention Group

April 19: Marquita Johnson–M.S., MDiv, LPC, NCC, DCC, Counselor/Therapist

May 17: Dr. LaShawn Faison-Bradley–Licensed Professional Counselor, PsyD, LPC, NCC, CCTP, CTF-CBT

June 21: Neill Blake, past President of NAMI Cobb

August: Bill Carruthers

October: Jaketra Bryant

November: Kim Jones


January 19: Nancy Garfield, MPA, MSW, LCSW

February 16: Roslind Hayes and Corey Jones from Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network

March 16: Mr. Cole Chase, MS, CRC, Vice President of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Nobis Works.

May 18: Mariel Sivley, Executive Director of The Georgia Supportive Housing Association and a panel of guests from The Georgia Supportive Housing Association and Cobb County CSB

June 15: Jill D. Mays, LPC, Assistant Director of the Office of Adult Mental Health at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and Leticia Robinson is the Director of Supported Housing for the Office of Adult Mental Health, DBHDD.

August 17th: Mark A. Dannenfelser, LPC, Psychotherapist and Founding Director of the Mindfulness Center of Atlanta

October 19: Grady Allen Moore, JD, Criminal Defense Attorney on Mental Health Law


February 19: Misty Williams, health care reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and recipient of the 2014-15 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship

March 17: Gary Gregg, M.S., Director of Crisis Services with the Cobb Douglas Community Services Board (CSB)

April 21: Sue Ryerson of “Bi-Polar Babes” presented and mediated a panel discussion on the film “I’m not Crazy.”

June 16: Janice Shomo, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Addiction Specialist and owner of Transition Rehab and Stacy Dunning, Certified Seeking Safety facilitator, and house manager at Transition Rehab spoke on dual-diagnosis treatment.

August 18: Therapist Tiffany Conyers, Zone A Lead for Region 1 of Georgia’s Mobile Crisis Response Team.

September 15: Mark A. Dannenfelser, LPC, Psychotherapist and Founding Director of the Mindfulness Center of Atlanta

October 20: Edi Guyton, VP, NAMI DeKalb presented on her “Journey of Hope and Mental Wellness”

November 17: Kim Jones, the Executive Director of NAMI Georgia


June 18: Sheri McGuinness of the Suicide Prevention Action Network, GA (SPAN-GA)
May 21: Sam Rapier, CPS Training Coordinator for the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network (GMHCN)
Apr. 16: Cobb Mental Health Court including Superior Court Judge Mary Staley, Prosecutor Kimberly Schwartz, Defense Representative Grady Moore, Coordinator Adrienne Bowen, Case Manager Karen Marshall and Law Enforcement Representative Deputy Jason Church.
Mar. 19: Lt. Rebekah Westenberger of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office
Feb. 19: Author and mental health advocate, Felicia Johnson
Jan. 15: Amy Eisenman, LPC, of Peachtree DBT speaking about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy


Nov. 17: Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner
Oct. 16: Belinda Wheeler, Certified Peer Specialist
Sep. 18: Dr. Ashraf Attalla of Ridgeview Institute
Aug. 21: Dr. Nathan Shapira of Carman Research
June 19: In Our Own Voice Presentation by Ashley Smith and Robert Gray. Ashley spoke of her struggles and triumphs dealing with schizophrenia, while Robert related his experiences overcoming depression.
May 15: George Ackron of Paraclete Services spoke on obtaining government benefits through SSI and SSDI.
Apr. 17: New Dawn Theater Company and Bleeding Edge Productions premiere of “I’m Not Crazy,” a documentary written and produced by comedian Sue Ryerson. She and her colleagues shared their insights and experiences as they manage their lives coping with bipolar disorder. Please view the trailer here:

 March 20: Elections, video of TED talk on schizophrenia by Elyn Saks, and discussion


Sep. 19: Kim Frye, Criminal Defense Attorney who helped establish the Cobb County mental health court

Aug. 15: Larry Goodman, LPC, of PLAN of Georgia,
PLAN is a family based, not-for-profit agency that provides solutions to families concerned about present and future care of a relative with a severe disability. It is an organization dedicated to serving people with mental and physical disabilities—- including mental illness, mental retardation, brain injury, autism and at-risk elderly—in the Metropolitan Atlanta area.

June 20: Michele Price, LPC, and Marzena Holly, LPC, of the Alyse Group

May 16: Dr. Amy Stevens, Ed.D., LPC, former LT, USN. Arcadian Resources, Counseling and Consultant Services 995 Roswell Street, Suite 100 Marietta, GA 30060 Office: 770-509-1034 Cell: 770-309-7877 Dr. Stevens specializes in helping organizations obtain needed resources to accomplish social services missions. Special interests include military veterans and critical incidence response. She provides strategic business planning, capacity building, expert program review and grants coaching.

Apr. 18: Terry Mercer and Vicky Lynn Methven of Legal Shield

Mar. 21: Marzena Holly, LPC, of the Alyse Group, an (outpatient) recovery center for teens, young adults, and adults with mental illness. Ms. Marzena will speak on “Cure vs. Fulfilled Life: Recovery, Interventions, and Assistance Model @ Alyse for Teens, Young Adults, and Their Families.”

Feb. 21: Liz Frye, M.D., M.P.H., Instructor of Clinical Psychiatry, Morehouse School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr Frye talked about her work with ACT, how a parent can best help their loved one be more independent (housing, job), and her experience with academic and clinical mental illness, medication advice, and stories of patients that would be helpful or give hope.

Jan. 17: Cancelled due to weather


Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher – Debbie Ellison,

CIT-trained officer of the Acworth police department.

Brian Stettin “The Untapped Power of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT).”

Claudette Dover-Swoope -Region Director at Briggs & Associates 404.290.6870, Supportive Employment Speaker

Eric Dias went through certified peer specialist training this past summer, sponsored by NAMI-Cobb. He’s been hired to work at “The Cottages,” and is also attending college, working on a psychology degree. He has been a real asset to our Family Support Group in Woodstock, forthcoming with his own diagnosis, as well as his challenges in relating to his brother’s struggles with mental illness.


Paul Wiser, Sr. CFP®, who served as a NAMI Family to Family Educator –

Michelle Hammond-Susten, LCSW, who is the Clinical Care Coordinator for, “BraveHeart: Welcome Back Veterans Southeast Initiative,” -AND-Maryrose Gerardi, Ph.D., who is a Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. BraveHeart: Welcome Back Veterans Southeast Initiative, and also participates in training other professionals in the use of virtual reality exposure therapy.

Daniel Trussell, Ph.D. MBA, LPC, Community Mental Health Director for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

“Ask the Doc”, presented by Jeffrey J. Rakofsky, MD, a Psychopharmacology Research Fellow with the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program from Emory University’s School of Medicine. The Emory Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program conducts studies of treatments for depression and anxiety disorders. The program is currently involved in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health that compare FDA-approved medications and specific talk therapy for the treatment of depression. Researchers there, study health care on a global level while they aim to treat it on a personal level. The purpose is to help find improved treatments for depression and anxiety disorders. Most studies involve the evaluation of a medication, while others may involve psychotherapy or other non-medication treatments. Staff includes medical doctors, psychologists, social workers and nurses in the field of psychiatry and medical research.

“Journaling Workshop,” presented by Debbie Ellison of ‘Laughter For Wellness.’ *”The writing process is cathartic and healing and helps release pent-up emotions in a healthy way,” Debbie asserts. She will address how laughter, relaxation, meditation, and stress-relief exercises help writing flow more easily and enhance participants’ coping skills and joyfulness.Debbie is a published writer and editor and Laughter Leader. In 2010, Debbie led our group in a ‘Laughter Yoga’ workshop. Her two children suffer from depression and she is passionate about helping consumers and family members/support people deal with mental illness in a healthy way and fighting the stigma by helping others understand what they go through.


Kathleen Breen – NAMI-South Cobb’s President

Curtis Rodgers Co Director of Shepherd Center’s Benefits Navigator Project. – Cobb County Navigator Team -Cert Rehab Counselor, Licensed Counselor – Focus Social Security for individuals with Disabilities, Eligibility for SSI, Overview of Medicaid waivers, Rules about working. Presented at North Star & South Cobb.

Debbie Ellison “Laughter Session for Wellness and Joy,” with Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Debbie Ellison

Alan I Davies – Our very on Nami Cobb Member and consurmer, Author of “A Life in Shadow”

Sarah Postich – Licensed Assoc. Professional Counselor, Trillium Springs Counseling Specialty: Sarah specializes in Bipolar Disorder and Depression. Other interests include anxiety, sexuality, and women’s issues. She sees counseling as a collaborative process and seeks to empower each individual to make the decisions that best fit his/her lifestyle.

Speakers: Cathryn Coone-McCrary & Pat Kramer “In Our Own Voice” – illness & recovery. Coone-McCrary (NAMI-Cobb’s newly elected secretary) and Pat Kramer share their personal struggles with mental illness as well as the course of their recoveries. Coone-McCrary is a Georgia native and writer who received her Ph.D. in English at UGA in 1997. She also led “In Our Own Voice” (IOOV) in Northern Virginia for a few years. Her speaking partner, Pat Kramer, is from Washington, D.C., and wrote a widely used book on building self-esteem skills in school children (the book was used by schools throughout the US as well as internationally.) She’s even been on the Larry King Live radio show.

When Medicine Got it Wrong -When Medicine Got it Wrong is the groundbreaking story of loving parents who rocked the halls of psychiatry, changing how we understand schizophrenia. In the 1970s, a small group of parents rebelled against then-popular psychiatric theories blaming schizophrenia on bad parenting. Their activism helped revolutionize treatment forever and their stories reveal the origins of the tragic state of mental health care today. More on the film at


Representative from Skyland Trail speaking at our meeting. For information about Skyland Trail check out their website at

Kimberly Tapp form Wellstar Mental Health Services – discussing what Wellstar has available in MH services.

Mary Camann from Kennesaw State University will speak tonite Mental Health & Physical Health go hand in hand. Tips to stay healthy

Dr. Frank Shelp, the newly appointed Commissioner of the newly created DBHDD, made one of his first public appearances at NAMI Georgia Annual Conference being held Saturday May 16th.

Kay Palacko from Plan of GA.

Mary Roebeck Cobb Community Services Board Volunteer Co-Ordinator, Marietta, GA.

DR. Branko Radulovacki, M.D., M.B.A., a board-certified psychiatrist, has served as Director of Adult of Adult Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization at Ridgeview Institute since 2000.

Jewel Norman – GA’s newly appointed Mental Health Ombudsman

Gary Gregg who is the Cobb County Jail Infirmary Mental Health Advocate

CIT Speakers from Cobb County Sheriff’s Dept.


Jeannette Depoy, Community Friendship Course on how to stay in recovery. ( GREAT COURSE!)

Charles Westbrook of the Cherokee Sheriff’s Dept.

Dr.John Lockhart, is a child, adult and family psychiatrist who has been in private practice in Atlanta since 1983. His office is located in Smyrna. He will be discussing the improtance of medication, therapy and followup. He is a popular speaker for schools, churches, parent and business groups, and also lectures to physician groups on pharmacology and medical intervention for depression, attention deficit disorder, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric conditions. He has been a commentator for local radio and TV stations,and is a frequent guest and consultant on CNN, including the “Parenting Today” show.

Eric Spencer NAMI GA Executive Director at North Metro Church Room

Kelli L. Wolk, Esquire, Moore Ingram Johnson & Steele, LLP Guardianships for adults – She will talk about what they are and what they are not as well as some alternatives to guardianships. Kelli graduated from Georgia State Law, clerked for Judge Dodd in the Cobb Probate court from 1999 to 2001, began working for Moore, Ingram, Johnson & Steele in June of 2001 doing probate litigation and estate planning. Past chair of the Cobb elder law committee and past chair of the State YLD elder law committee. Currently serving as a liaison between the state elder law fiduciary law sections. Running for probate Judge in Cobb County.

Branko Radulovacki, M.D., M.B.A., a board-certified psychiatrist, has served as Director of Adult of Adult Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization at Ridgeview Institute since 2000. He earned his medical degree, with honors, from the University of Illinois and completed his psychiatry residency at Yale. He also earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Dr. Radulovacki treats adults with depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders, and addictions. He specializes in acute/crisis care and treatment of individuals with dual diagnoses. He currently serves as the co-chair of the provider advisory board at Skyland Trail. Previously, he has served on the board of trustees of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association (GPPA). Atlanta Magazine named him one of the Top 5 psychiatrists in metro Atlanta in 2007. His practice is located on the Ridgeview campus at 4015 South Cobb Drive, Suite 125, Smyrna, Georgia. Office phone: 770/434-5833.

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