I am a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or as it is commonly called NAMI. This group is a grassroots organization dedicated to helping those who live with mental health conditions and their families. Their secondary goal is to end the stigma that often accompanies a mental health diagnosis.
I belong to my local chapter, NAMI of Champaign County, Illinois. The hope and help I have found there coupled with the deep friendships I have established are wonderful.
One of the opportunities for growth offered at many affiliates of NAMI, including mine, is called Family To Family.
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people living with mental illness. It is a designated evidenced-based program. 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.
NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.
What You’ll Gain
NAMI Family-to-Family not only provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, but you’ll also find out that you’re not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope.
The group setting of NAMI Family-to-Family provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through your own experience. In the program, you’ll learn about:
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
Finding and using local supports and services
Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain
Current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications, and side effects
The impact of mental illness on the entire family
What People Are Saying
“Before I took the course, I felt alone and overwhelmed dealing with my daughter’s mental illness. By taking this course, I have met others who are going through the same things I am and have learned about many resources that I never knew existed.”
“I thought my wife and I knew just about everything there is to know about the system and the illness. Boy, were we wrong. Without a doubt, this is the best support course I have had the privilege of taking part in, bar none.”
My affiliate is offering Family to Family classes starting next week. I wanted to let anyone who may live close enough know about it.
However, no matter where you live you can find a local NAMI chapter near you. Just go to the NAMI website and you’ll find on the right-hand side a link to help you find a local chapter.
You won’t regret joining the National Alliance on Mental Illness, I know I have not.