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NAMI 2020 Speaker Series

For a tenth consecutive year, NAMI Athens and the Friends of the Athens Public Library are teaming up to bring the Athens community some really super speakers.

Time:  6:30-8:00 PM

Location:  Athens Public Library, 30 Home Street, Athens, OH 45701.

April 23: Laurita J. Barber. “From Abuse as a Child, PTSD and Other Disorders to a Career Helping Peers”

May 14: TBA

August 27: Dr. Jennifer Cheavens. “Borderline Personality: Now a Very Treatable Disorder”

September 28: TBA


April 23:

Topic: From Abuse as a Child, PTSD and Other Disorders to a Career Helping Peers

Speaker: Laurita J. Barber

Laurita J. BarberCurrently Office Manager and Accountant for NAMI Franklin County, Columbus, Laurita J. Barber started life with a seemingly insurmountable disadvantage. Her father drew a gun on her mother and her (aged five) – triggering PTSD and other disorders. Nevertheless, she has supported herself in finance and accounting since the early 80’s.

Laurita started volunteering at the Columbus VA in 2011 and has been teaching the Peer-to-Peer Recovery Educational course there since 2012.  She became the Ending the Silence Coordinator for Franklin County in 2016 and was responsible for getting the program up and running.  Ending the Silence has now been taught to over 15,000 students in Franklin County (which covers 18 school districts) in local, private and Catholic middle and high schools, to include staff and families.

Laurita has recently passed the baton of Ending the Silence to take on the responsibility as Mental Health First Aid coordinator for NAMI Franklin County.

She believes that the “best way to help yourself is to help others.” For a preview of her talk, listen to her February 2020 NAMI interview.


May 14:

Topic: TBA



August 27:

Topic: Borderline Personality: Now a Very Treatable Disorder

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Cheavens

Dr. Jennifer Cheavens

It used to be that borderline personality disorder was seen as very hard, if not impossible, to treat. However, recent work with dialectical behavior therapy at Harvard, Duke, the University of Washington, and The Ohio State University has turned that assumption on its head. Trained at Duke, Dr. Cheavens served there for three years as Associate Director of the Cognitive Behavior Research and Treatment Program before coming to The Ohio State University where she is now Associate Director of Psychiatry  and  Director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinic in their Psychological Services Center. Enrollment in the OSU DBT clinic – with an excellent record of  helping persons recover from borderline personality – is free and open to the public, “although it does get full”. For a preview of his talk, listen to her February 2013 NAMI interview.

Nurses can submit social work certificates to the nursing board for full credit.
.15 CEUs available for Athens Public Schools Teachers
1.5 CEUs available for Social Workers and Counselor

September 28:

Topic: TBA