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 Meeting Location

Forsyth County United Way Offices
240 Elm Street
Cumming, GA 30040

    Tuesday April 21, 2015  7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 

 Our guest speaker will be from Benchmark Human Services. Benchmark Crisis Response Teams serve adults and children five years and older who have mental illness, serious emotional disorders, substance-related disorders, who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis or are in a situation likely to turn into a crisis.  


  • Our next speaker will be Mark Biernath, P.C. Mark is a lawyer with the Law Offices of Mark E. Biernath, P.C. He will discuss Special Needs Trusts and Guardianship. These important topics will be presented for families to hear options for the planning and protection for our family members future. For more information visit

  • Jennfier Manly LPC.  is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) since 2005 by members of Behvioral Tech LLC which was founded by the developer of DBT, Marhsa Linehan, Ph.D. Jennifer has over 17 years of experience working directly with adolescents in direct care long-term facilities, and then a a clinican in long-term residential facilites in Atlanta. She will discuss DBT, and the benefits of this treatment therapy to individuals dealing with psychological, emotional or trauma issues. She provides individual therapy, family therapy, DBT Skill Training groups for Adolescents and DBT Skills Training groups for Parents. For more information visit
  • Dr. David Janzen, a Motiventionist based in Atlanta, and specializes in Interventions for individuals struggling with chemical and behavioral addictions and families under the strain of dealing with addicted or mentally ill loved ones.
  •  Dr. Scott Friedman, Psy.D. from Atlanta Area Psychological Associates, P.C.. spke about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders. 
  • Marti Vogt from Mental Health First Aide. Mental Health First Aid is an 8 hour course that individuals may attend to learn to handle developing mental health problems or mediate a mental health crisis. To learn more visit
  • Pat Strode from NAMI Georgia.  Pat discussed the CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) program that our law enforcement officers utilize to prepare for interactions with individuals who face a mental health crisis.  
  • Ellen Jeager from Mental Health America discussed the MHA organization and the education and advocacy opportunities that they provide families and consumers.
  • Dave Lushbaugh, from PLAN of Georgia that provides solutions to families concerned about present and future care of a relative with a severe disability, including mental illness and/or physical disability
  • Joe LaBranche and Carole LaBranche, from Warrior to Citizen spoke about Post Traumatic Stress.
  • Sheri McGuinness, President and CEO from SPAN - Georgia, spoke about Suicide Prevention and Community Awareness.
  • Marzena Holly, LPC from The Alyse Group spoke on  "Family involvement in the recovery process for severe mentally ill youth and older adults"
  • Dr. Larry Giltman, spoke on "Medical Quakery"
  • Lynn Thompson LPC, Founding Clinical Director of Ray of Hope Counseling Services, discussed "Personality Disorders"
  • Attorney Rusty Hodges spoke about "handling the legal concerns of special needs persons".
  • Miranda Franklin, Rehabilitation employment specialist, Ga Vocational Rehab Agency spoke on "Vocational rehabilitation basics including supported employment" Agency website -
  • Boyd McLocklin is former CEO for the Georgia Mountains Community Service Board and has also worked with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health.  He has worked in private practice in the areas of mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and pastoral counseling.  He brings us a holistic approach to recovery, addressing the mind, body and spirit. 
  • Heather Durham Nadler, CELA,   "Elder Law and Special Needs Attorneys: Providing legal and financial demands of senior citizens, their adult children and individuals with special needs.
  • Joe Stapp, Blue Ridge Couseling, LLC "Calming the Emotional Storm:  Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance your life."
  • Winne Sanders, Caring is Giving:  "Finding Housing for the Disabled"
  • George Ackron, Paraclete Services "The Social Security Disability Process: An Inside Look"
  • Dr. Scott Friedman, Psy.D.,  Atlanta Area Psychological Associates, “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Therapy Interventions”
  • Dawn McCloskey, Ultra Organized, LLC, “How to Handle Interruptions and Overcome Procrastination”
  • Dot Keith   "Borderline Personality Disorder(BPD)"
  • Janice Shomo, LMSW, CAS, LMT and Carol Reynolds, MAI, CCIM  The Cottages on Mountain Creek.
  • Kim Waters-Rose, LPC, New Hope Counseling, Cumming, GA "Addiction and Mental Health"

  • Kanya Glymph,M.Ed., NCC, LPC, Director of New Leaf Counseling and Recovery, Cumming, GA “ Addled by Anxiety”

  • Ashley Smith, Executive Director of Embracing My Mind,

Ashley brought a copy of the new documentary (released May 6, 2011) "Living with Schizophrenia: A Call for Hope and Recovery" for us to view. The documentary explores the lives of three people living with schizophrenia-- their daily struggles, personal insights about the illness, and paths in the mental health recovery process. Two of the three consumers in the movie are members of NAMI in Atlanta and Columbus. Many of the family members interviewed in the movie are also members of NAMI in Georgia.

  • Evan Katz, MC, LPC, MAC  "Inside the Mind of an Angry Man"

  • Kanya Glymph,M.Ed., NCC, LPC, Director of New Leaf Counseling and Recovery, Cumming, GA  “Identifying and Confronting Codependency: Remembering to Nourish Yourself While Caring for Others”

  • W. David Wallace, attorney  "Legal Issues: Guardianships, Conservatorships and Special Needs Trusts”
  • Michael Banov, M.D.   "Taking Antidepressants"

       Taking Antidepressants: Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting, Staying On, and Safely Quitting                                                                        Image of Michael Banov 

Dr. Banov spoke about his new book, "Taking Antidepressants: Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting, Staying On, and Safely Quitting", which currently has a 5 star rating on Amazon. Dr. Banov is Medical Director of Northwest Behavioral Medicine and Northwest Behavioral Research Center. He did his Psychiatry Residency and Fellowship at McLean Hospital, Boston, MA., Harvard Medical School, 1990-1993 and is Triple Board Certified in Adult, Adolescent and Addiction Psychiatry. He is also a Board Certified Clinical Research Investigator.

  • Patricia Jacob-Hopkins     "Housing" 

Patricia Jacob-Hopkins, executive director of FIR (Family Initiative Residence) in Conyers, discussed housing for those with a mental illness. She told how she moved and expanded the FIR residential program from DeKalb to Rockdale County. She shared her vision and future goals to use the FIR model in other communities like ours. She is considered one of the leading housing experts in Georgia. Click here to read more about the Conyers location.

  • Cathy Coone-McCrary         "In Our Own Voice" Presentation and Holiday Dinner.
    In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program developed by NAMI, in which trained consumer speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery. Cathy Coone-McCrary lead the brief, yet comprehensive and interactive, presentation. We were lucky to have Cathy, who is the state trainer for IOOV; she lives in Cobb County with her husband but grew up in Dahlonega. Click here to read more about IOOV and watch a You Tube video.
  • Nikki Araoz and Sue Howell (her mother) told Nikki's story and shared her steps to recovery. Nikki is a North Georgia graduate who works full time in Dahlonega as a counselor, and Sue is a trained Family-to-Family teacher.
  • Nicole Morgan   Forsyth County Community Connection, Executive Director, "No Longer Silent" Her story made the front page of the Forsyth County News.
  • Branko Radulovacki, MD, MBA, a NAMI GA member is founder and leader of FaithWorks, a faith-driven initiative to help Georgia citizens who suffer from mental illness. FaithWorks is bringing together faith leaders and nonprofits such as NAMI to address the mental health crisis in Georgia. After earning a MBA, Dr. Radulovacki graduated from University of Illinois College of Medicine with honors, did his residency at Yale University, and is in private practice in Atlanta.

                                                                        Dr. Branko Radulovacki  Image

  • Sgt. Bill Anastasio "CIT Training and Experiences"
  • Jenny Wood, MA, NCC, LPC, Program Director, Child and Family Focus
  • Alicia J. Saile, "Understanding Your Social Security Benefits"
  • Debbie Ellison, "The Benefits of Laughter"
  • Michael Anderson, D.C., "Chronic Pain & Fatigue"
  • Nancy Austin RN, Laurelwood Hospital, "Dual Diagnosis"
  • Janet Fishman, CPS (Certified Peer Specialist)    "Healthy Recovery"
  • Dave Lushbaugh, NAMI National Board, "Solutions to the Fragmented Mental Health System"
  • Nora Lott Haynes, president NAMI Georgia, "Mental Health Advocacy"
  • James Fugedy, MD, Anesthesiologist, "Techniques of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)"
  • Gwen Frothingham, MS, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Georgia Dept. of Labor, "Supported Employment"
  • Sally Atwell, MS, CRC, LPC, Social Security Benefits Navigator, "Work Incentive Planning"
  • Ruby Moore, Executive Director, The Georgia Advocacy Office




We continue to have support groups 7-8:30 p.m. the 2nd Thurs. of each month. Please join us to get or give support. 






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