‘A Beautiful Conversation’ about schizophrenia April 24 at Pellissippi State

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Mental health has been an ongoing topic in student Jeanmarie Willson’s writing projects at Pellissippi State Community College.

Willson, the mother of two grown children, is schizophrenic. She has been forthcoming about her illness, making it a topic of essays and poems in her English classes. Now, with the help of her English professor, Ed Francisco, Pellissippi State’s writer-in-residence, she has organized a panel discussion about mental health. The event is free and open to the community.

“A Beautiful Conversation” is April 24, 12:25-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. A panel of Pellissippi State students and mental health professionals will discuss mental health issues and resources. Francisco moderates.

The panel, co-sponsored by Pellissippi State’s student service-learning club, Gnosis, was inspired by one of Willson’s favorite books and movies. “A Beautiful Mind” is the story of John Forbes Nash, a paranoid schizophrenic mathematician who shared the Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 1994.

“We will talk about psychotherapy in the context of a quest,” Francisco said. “Nobody gets out of this life unscathed. Everyone has problems and predicaments, and sometimes those can be overwhelming. People need to know where they can go for assistance. That’s one of the really good things we hope will come out of this discussion.”

For more information, call (865) 694-6400 or contact the English Department at (865) 694-6708.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.