The following NAMI programs are designed to educate and support families:
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.
What does the course include?
Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders and addictive disorders
- 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
NAMI Basics is a free 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.
Family Connections for Borderline Personality Disorder
Family Connections for Borderline Personality Disorder is a course for family members with a relative with borderline personality disorder (BPD), or symptoms of the disorder. The program seeks to provide the most current information and research on BPD, to teach coping skills based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and to develop a support network.
- Education on BPD Skills
- Emotion Regulation Skills
- Research on BPD
- Communication Skills
- Family Perspectives and Experiences
- Validation Skills
- Relationship Mindfulness Skills
This class is taught by family members and is not a therapy group. Data documents that educated family members experience a decrease in depression, burden, grief and an increase in empowerment. Registration is open for four upcoming classes scheduled for May & June. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The NAMI Family Support Group operates differently than other, more traditional “share-and-care” groups. The NAMI Support Group model offers a set of key structures and group processes for facilitators to use in common support group scenarios. These structures come with clear guidelines to follow; used together, they encourage full group participation in support group meetings. The structures of the new model feel comfortable for both seasoned and less-experienced facilitators because they guide the support group along in every situation.
The NAMI Support Group model is not just for Family-to-Family Education course graduates, nor is it just for family members. It is a model that can be used by any NAMI support group.