September 21, 2013

Mental illness subject of Tuesday meeting

Organizers hope to form local support group

Charles Oliver

— Last month, some 50 people turned out in Dalton for a workshop on mental illness. Organizers believe that shows the area is ready to form its own chapter of a group that supports those who have mental illness as well as their family and friends.

“We have long thought that the Dalton area would be a great place to have a NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) presence. And we thought a meeting like we had would be a great way to judge the interest,” said Jim Moore, president of the NAMI chapter in Rome. “We had several people who were very interested in continuing on.”

NAMI will hold a meeting on Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Crosspointe Christian Centre at 2681 Underwood St.

“We want to show people some of the programs NAMI offers and then we’ll spend a few minutes modeling how a support group is conducted. From that, we hope to find some people who are interested in forming a support group. If we do, we’ll conduct a periodic support group until we can get some people trained to conduct their own group,” Moore said.

NAMI conducts support groups both for those who have mental illness and for the families of those who do. Members from Rome’s NAMI chapter will model both groups and hope to help set up both types of groups.

The Tuesday meeting is free and open to the public. Those who are interested are invited to attend, and they don’t have to have attended the August workshop.

NAMI will also have a display at the Dalton-Whitfield County Library during National Mental Illness Week, Oct. 6-12, which will include books from the library’s collection on mental illness as well as pamphlets and brochures from NAMI.