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2018 NAMI Georgia Annual Conference and Meeting

Join NAMI members and friends at Mercer University, Atlanta Campus, for two days of education, special events, and networking with people like you who are interested in mental health recovery and advocacy.
Pre-registration has ended. After April 18, please plan to register and pay at the conference. You may purchase optional Saturday lunch or awards dinner tickets at the door. We will accept cash, check, and credit cards.

NAMI Member Non-member Saturday Lunch Saturday Awards Dinner
$60 $95 $5 $7




April 20-21, 2018
Mercer University-Atlanta Campus
AACC building (Atlanta Administration and Conference Center)
2930 Flowers Road South
Atlanta, GA  30341


From 285 East (towards Augusta):
1. Exit on to LaVista Road (Exit 37)
2. Turn left at top of the ramp on to LaVista Road. Stay in right lane as road splits twice and you will want
to take the right split each time on to Henderson Mill Road. You will go past Northlake Mall on right
and then Henderson Mill Middle School on your left.
3. Get in the left lane and at the light turn left on to Mercer University Drive.
4. At first light on Mercer University Drive, turn left on to Flowers Road.
5. Take the third Mercer University entrance on the right. You will see a sign for the Administration and
Conference Center.
6. Proceed straight ahead and take the first left into visitor parking.
From 85 North:
1. Take 85 North from Atlanta.
2. Exit on Chamblee Tucker Road (Exit 94).
3. At top of the ramp turn right on to Chamblee Tucker Road. Continue in far right lane.
4. Turn right on to Flowers Road and move to left lane immediately.
5. Take the first Mercer University entrance on the left. You will see a sign for the Administration and
Conference Center.
6. Proceed straight ahead and take the first left into visitor parking.

Download the 2018 NAMI Georgia Annual Conference Program

Conference Details

NAMI Georgia is thrilled about our upcoming 2018 Annual Conference & Meeting on April 20-21, located at Mercer University in Atlanta. In line with NAMI's National Convention in 2017, our theme will be "educate, empower, engage." 

NAMI Georgia Annual Conference
April 20-21, 2018
Mercer University-Atlanta Campus, AACC Building
(Atlanta Administration And Conference Center)
2930 Flowers Road South
Atlanta, GA  30341

Parking: there are two lots adjacent to the building: one in front, after passing the pull-through and one in the back. You may park in either free of charge. Upon arrival at the AACC Building, proceed to Conference Registration, on the first floor, starting at 8:00AM. There you will be given a packet with the conference schedule, meal tickets (if necessary), and name tag.

Friday, April 20

Vendor check-in starts at 7:00AM
Attendee check-in starts at 8:00AM
Lunch - 11:30AM - 12:30PM
Saturday, April 21
Attendee check-in starts at 8:00AM
**Lunch - 12:30PM - 2:00PM ($5)
**Awards Dinner - 5:30PM - 7:30PM ($7)
Program Tracks
  • Public Safety/CIT
  • Emerging Trends
  • Recovery
  • Advocacy
  • Affiliate Development
  • Children's Interactive Track
Special highlights
  • Children's Interactive Track*
  • NAMI Georgia Recovery Council Symposium, led by Bill Carruthers
  • Gubernatorial Candidates Forum
  • Mental Health Clubhouses Forum, hosted by Georgia Clubhouse Coalition
  • Awards Dinner

*Children's Interactive Track
Saturday, April 21 is Children’s Day at the NAMI Georgia Annual Conference! Along with regular tracks, we will feature a track designed for AND by children. Join your child in interactive workshops focused on coping strategies and effective exercises to help them manage their health conditions. We welcome children of all ages and needs, accompanied by their parent(s). Children under 16 admitted free with a registered adult. ***Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times, including during workshops.


Make reservations early. Subject to availability after April 11, 2018. ***Be sure when booking to ask for the NAMI rate! Rates are per night.

Quality Inn Northlake
NAMI Rate: $68.00 + tax = $83.20
2155 Ranchwood Drive NE
Atlanta 30345

Courtyard Marriott Northlake
NAMI Rate:
Rooms: $79.00 + tax = $95.85
Suites: $109+tax=$130.35
(1 king or 2 queens and a pull out sleeper sofa)
4083 LaVista Rd
Tucker, GA  30084

Questions? Contact Bonnie Hannah at

Workshops, Speakers, and Special Events

Download the 2018 NAMI Georgia Annual Conference Program

8:30AM-10:00AM Kim Jones & Jack Enter Welcome & Keynote: The Role of Public Safety in Responding to Mental Health Issues in Georgia Public Safety/ Keynote 243
10:00AM-11:30AM Various Recovery Council Symposium Part I Recovery Day Hall
10:00AM-10:45AM Kelly Morrow-Baez, PhD, LPC HALT in Action: Supporting Clients in Making Lifestyle Changes for Relapse Prevention Professional 245
10:00AM-10:45AM Pat Strode CIT Program Update Public Safety 181
10:00AM-10:45AM Reinette Arnold, MSW, LCSW & Megan Gleason, LCSW Comparing Apples to Oranges: Implementing Mobile Crisis Response Programs in Rural and Urban Communities Public Safety / Advocacy 243
10:45AM-11:00AM BREAK
11:00AM-11:45AM Kayl May Bringing Awareness to a Mental Illness: Schizoaffective Month and Advocacy Advocacy 245
11:00AM-11:45AM Robert Brown Adapting Styles: Managing Volunteers with Situational Leadership Theory Affiliate Development 181
11:00AM-11:45AM Reinette Arnold, MSW, LCSW Stephanie Dixson, LPC & Megan Gleason, LCSW How Do You Speak During a Crisis? Our Language Can Make All of the Difference Public Safety / Advocacy 243
11:30AM-12:30PM LUNCH - 2nd Floor Lobby (Recovery Symposium Lunch - Day Hall Breezeway)
12:20PM-2:00PM Various Recovery Council Symposium Part II Recovery Day Hall
12:30PM-1:30PM Dr. Ajani Harmon & Lt. E. Duron Thompson Youth in Crisis Overview Public Safety 243
12:30PM-1:30PM Nathalie Ellis, LPC The Impact of Traumatic Events on Mind & Body Professional 245
1:30PM-1:45PM BREAK
1:45PM-2:45PM Mark Dannenfelser, LPC Using Mindfulness to Reduce Anxiety Recovery/ Emerging Trends 181
1:45PM-2:45PM Pat King, RN & Heather Strickland At-Risk Adult Exploitation and Trafficking: Hiding in Plain Sight Public Safety 245
1:45PM-2:45PM Donna Parrish, MSW A Child's Diagnosis: Is It Poverty or Mental Health? Professional 243
2:00PM-2:30PM Various CPS, CARES CPRP - Living the Dream Panel Recovery/Day Hall Day Hall
2:30PM- 3:00PM Various Creating Recovery Communities Recovery/Day Hall Day Hall
2:45PM-3:00PM BREAK
3:00PM-4:00PM Recovery Council Double Trouble Meeting - 12 Steps Recovery/Day Hall Day Hall
3:00PM-4:00PM Samantha Edu, LPC Leverage and Partnerships with Law Enforcement Improve Outcomes in Vulnerable Populations Public Safety 245
3:00PM-4:00PM Pamela Worrell-Carlisle, RN On a Mission: Taking on Stigma and Mental Illness Professional 243
3:00PM-4:00PM Michael Thompson Leadership for the Next Stage Affiliate Development 181
9:00AM-9:15AM Kim Jones Welcome Education 280 - Auditorium
9:00AM-9:30AM Daniel Epstein, LPC, LMHC Welcome and Introductions Children's Day 181
9:15AM-11:00AM Various Gubernatorial Forum Education 280 - Auditorium
9:00AM-10:00AM Teresa Wright-Johnson, & Monique Jackson Early Support Beyond Educational Walls: Professionals & Parents Collaborating for Youth Advocacy/ Professional 245
9:15AM-9:30AM BREAK
9:30AM-10:00AM Shanta Hayes, MSW Building Your Coping Skills Toolbox, Recognizing the Supports Around You Children's Day 181
10:00AM-10:15AM BREAK
10:15AM-10:45AM Carol Coussons de-Reyes, CPS Be a Survivor! Children's Day 181
10:15AM-11:15AM Shannon Gordon, LCSW Understanding the Risk Map and Georgia Public Fee-for-Service and Cost-Based Financing of Behavioral Health Advocacy 245
11:00AM-11:45AM Jeff Fink The Role Animals Play in Mental Health Treatment and Recovery: A Family Systems Perspective Children's Day 181
11:15AM-11:30AM BREAK
11:15AM-12:45PM Jack Yatsko and representatives from three successful Clubhouses Clubhouse Forum Recovery 280 - Auditorium
11:30AM-12:30PM Eric Strunz Advocating for a Hopeful & Helpful Mental Healthcare Policy in Georgia Advocacy 175
11:30-12:30PM Dr. Joseph McEvoy New Treatments for Tardive Dyskinesia Professional/ Emerging Trends 243
11:30-12:30PM Dick Dressler Surviving Family Crisis Recovery/ Advocacy 245
12:00PM-12:30PM Marnie Grodzin The Brain is Attached to the Body: Use of Yoga Movement with Youth Children's Day 181
12:30PM-2:00PM BOXED LUNCH - 2nd Floor Lobby
1:30PM-2:15PM Quyionah Wingfield Family Dance Fitness and Expression Children's Day 181
2:00PM-3:00PM Tommie Thompson In Jail: What Next? Advocacy 243
2:00PM-3:00PM Erin Harlow-Parker, APRN, PMHCNS-BC & Ashley Izydore, CMP CHOA: Behavioral Health Initiative Advocacy / Professional 175
2:30PM-3:00PM Stephanie Wanza Don't Be Afraid to Reach for the Stars Children's Day 181
3:15PM-3:45PM Mental Health America Kids on the Block Puppetry Troupe Children's Day 181
3:15PM-4:15PM Nakita Robinson, LMFT & Reinette Arnold, MSW, LCSW Affiliate Development: Integrating Cultural Competency Practices & Ethical Implications Affiliate Development 243
3:15PM-4:15PM Jaketra Bryant, LPC Tough It Out, Not Talk It Out: Cultural Issues with Men Seeking Mental Health Advocacy 245
3:15PM-4:15PM Marquita Johnson, LPC Millennial Mindset: Engaging Millennials in Therapy with Technology Professional/ Emerging Trends 175
3:30PM-4:30PM NAMI Georgia Annual Meeting 280 - Auditorium
4:15PM-4:30PM BREAK
4:30PM-5:30PM Reinette Arnold, MSW, LCSW Aftercare Matters: The Family's Role in Suicide Prevention After Hospitalization Advocacy 175
4:30PM-5:30PM Taylor Wesley The Power of WE Advocacy/ Recovery 243
4:30PM-5:30PM Sam Rapier Art, Self-Esteem, and Recovery Recovery Outdoors
4:30PM-5:30PM NAMI Georgia Board Meeting 280 - Auditorium
5:30PM-7:30PM NAMI Georgia Awards Dinner Lower Lobby
Mental Health Clubhouse Forum

Find out about the benefits of the clubhouse model for individuals and communities. The Clubhouse Forum at the NAMI Georgia Conference will feature Jack Yatsko, COO of Clubhouse International, and representatives from three successful Clubhouses.

View the Clubhouse Forum Event Flyer

All conference attendees are welcome to attend. In addition, there will be a 'Clubhouse Forum Only' registration for those who wish to attend the Clubhouse Forum without registering for the NAMI Georgia Conference.

For 'Clubhouse Forum only' registration, email with the following information:  Name, Organization, Email address and Phone.

Jack Yatsko, Chief Operating Officer, has been with Clubhouse International for 16 years. His career in mental health spans 30 years. Jack works closely with international certified Training Bases and Faculty for Clubhouse development; helps develop new Clubhouses; and provides technical assistance to existing Clubhouses and groups or individuals seeking to learn more about the Clubhouse Model. He began his Clubhouse career in Hawaii in 1989 at Friendship House, the first Clubhouse program in Hawaii. Jack continues to reside in Hawaii although his travels take him across the globe. Jack has a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Gubernatorial Candidates Forum
NAMI Georgia is pleased to announce that a public forum with candidates in the race for Georgia's governor will be presented at the Annual Conference. All conference registrants are encouraged to attend.
Stacey Abrams, Confirmed
Casey Cagle, Invited
Stacey Evans, Confirmed
Eddie Hayes, Invited
Hunter Hill, Invited
Brian Kemp, Invited
Ted Metz, Confirmed
Clay Tippins, Invited
Marc Urbach, Confirmed
Michael Williams, Invited


Children's Day at the Conference
NAMI Georgia Awards

NAMI Georgia seeks to recognize the individuals, affiliates, volunteers, partners, legislators, and organizations who have worked tirelessly to support NAMI Georgia’s mission of promoting recovery and optimizing the quality of life for Georgians with mental illness and their families through support, education, and advocacy, and research.

The recipients of these awards will be recognized and honored at the NAMI Georgia Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Individuals will also be recognized on the NAMI Georgia website and social media.

The sharing of stories and successes has more long-term importance than the actual awards given in any particular year.

If you did not pay to reserve a banquet seat during pre-registration, you may pay at the door with cash, check, or credit card.

Nominations for NAMI Georgia Awards are now closed.

Find Out About Sponsorship Opportunities
Board of Directors Election and Annual Meeting of Members

Watch your mailbox for a ballot arriving the first week of April! You may vote by mail, or in person at the NAMI Georgia Annual Conference and Meeting location. You do not have to register for the conference to attend the Annual Member's Meeting. However, you must register for the conference if you wish to take advantage of the presentations and activities of the conference.

See Annual Membership Meeting Details

NAMI Georgia gives a great big thank you to our generous sponsors, for making a difference in the lives of people in recovery, their families, and Georgia communities!

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