NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances.
NAMI’s Support Groups are unique because they follow a structured model, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to be heard and to get what they need.
- Free of cost to participants
- Designed for adult loved ones (18+) of individuals living with mental illness
- Led by family members of individuals living with mental illness
- Meets weekly or monthly
- No specific medical therapy or medication is endorsed or recommended
What You’ll Gain
By sharing your experiences in a safe and confidential setting, you gain hope and develop supportive relationships. This group allows your voice to be heard, and provides an opportunity for your personal needs to be met. It encourages empathy, productive discussion and a sense of community. You’ll benefit through other’s experiences, discover your inner strength and learn now to identify local resources and how to use them.
NAMI Family Support Group will help you:
- See the individual first, not the illness
- Recognize that mental illnesses are medical illnesses that may have environmental triggers
- Understand that mental illnesses are traumatic events
- Aim for better coping skills
- Find strength in sharing experiences
- Reject stigma and not tolerate discrimination
- Not judge anyone’s pain
- Forgive ourselves and reject guilt
- Embrace humor as healthy
- Accept that we cannot solve every problem
- Work for a better future in a realistic way
The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free, 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses.
- The course is taught by trained family members
- All instruction and course materials are free to class participants
- Research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to an individual living with a mental health condition
What does the course include? Family to Family Outline
- Up-to-date information about medications, side effects, and strategies for medication adherence
- Current research related to the biology of brain disorders and the evidence-based, most effective treatments to promote recovery
- Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness
- Learning in special workshops for problem solving, listening, and communication techniques
- Acquiring strategies for handling crises and relapse
- Focusing on care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress, and emotional overload
- Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community
- Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services
- How to manage crises, solve problems and communicate effectively
- Taking care of yourself and managing your stress
- Developing the confidence and stamina to provide support with compassion
- The impact of mental illness on the entire family
NAMI Basics is the new signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses. The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years.
The course consists of six classes, each lasting for 2 ½ hours. Classes may be offered weekly for six consecutive weeks, or may be offered twice per week for three weeks to accommodate the hectic schedules of parents.
All instruction materials are FREE to participants.
Week 1 Learning about feelings, beliefs and facts.
Week 2 The biology of mental illness, getting an accurate diagnosis.
Week 3 Learning about treatment options, the various mental health professionals, current debates within the field.
Week 4 Objective and subjective family burden, communication, problem solving, crisis preparation, relapse planning.
Week 5 The systems involved with your child, including the mental health system, school system and juvenile justice system, the importance of record keeping.
Week 6 Advocacy, resources, sharing, evaluation.