Mental Health Education
NAMI Basics is a 6-session education program for parents, caregivers and other family who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms. This program is free to participants, 99% of whom say they would recommend the program to others. NAMI Basics is available both in person and online through NAMI Basics OnDemand. Click here to register for Basics in person class.
The in-person course is taught by a trained team with lived experience raising a child with a mental health condition. They know what you’re going through because they’ve been there too.
The OnDemand program is also guided by parents and family members with lived experience but is self-paced and available 24/7. OnDemand offers the flexibility of participating in the course on your schedule. Both formats provide identical information, strategies and the opportunity to connect with other parents and caregivers.
What You’ll Gain
By participating in NAMI Basics, you’ll realize that you are not alone. You’ll find support and shared understanding—compassion, reinforcement and empathy from people who truly get your situation. And don’t forget: Your experiences may also help others in the course. Together, you will all learn that recovery is a journey, and there is hope.
NAMI Basics Covers:
- The impact mental health conditions can have on your entire family
- Different types of mental health care professionals, available treatment options and therapies
- An overview of the public mental health care, school and juvenile justice systems and resources to help you navigate these systems
- How to advocate for your child’s rights at school and in health care settings
- How to prepare for and respond to crisis situations (self-harm, suicide attempts, etc.)
- The importance of taking care of yourself
- Much, much more
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is a designated evidenced-based program. This means that research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to a person with a mental health condition.
NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises.
What you gain:
NAMI Family-to-Family not only provides 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—experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. Sharing your own experience may help others in your class. In the program, you’ll learn about:
- How to solve problems and communicate effectively
- Taking care of yourself and managing your stress
- Supporting your loved one with compassion
- Finding and using local supports and services
- Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain
- How to handle a crisis
- Current treatments and therapies
- The impact of mental health conditions on the entire family
NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free, eight-session educational program for adults with mental health conditions who are looking to better understand themselves and their recovery.
Taught by trained leaders with lived experience, this program includes activities, discussions and informative videos. However, as with all NAMI programs, it does not include recommendations for treatment approaches.
What You Should Expect:
- Eight two-hour sessions, at no cost to participants.
- Designed for individuals (18 and over) living with mental illness.
- Taught by a trained team of individuals living in recovery from mental illness.
- Incorporates presentations, discussion and exercises.
What you gain:
NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a safe, confidential space. The course provides an opportunity for mutual support and growth. Experience compassion and understanding from people who relate to your experiences. This is a place to learn more about recovery in an accepting environment.
NAMI Peer-to-Peer helps you:
- Set a vision and goals for the future
- Partner with health care providers
- Develop confidence for making decisions
- Practice relaxation and stress reduction tools
- Share your story
- Strengthen relationships
- Enhance communication skills
- Learn about mental health treatment options
NAMI Homefront is a free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions.
Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans with mental health conditions.
What you gain:
Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all people affected by mental health conditions. This in-person experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and shared positive impact. You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow.
NAMI Homefront teaches you how to:
- Learn to care for yourself, including managing your stress
- Support your family member with compassion
- Identify and access federal, state and local services
- Stay informed on the latest research and information on mental health, including posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression and substance use
- Understand current treatments and evidence-based therapies
- Navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on the entire family
- Manage a crisis, solve problems and communicate effectively
If a class isn’t available in person at your local affiliate you can take NAMI Homefront Online. Online classes meet weekly in a virtual classroom, so participants experience the same level of interaction and learning as traditional in-person classes.
NAMI Provider Education
What is NAMI Provider Education?
The NAMI Provider Education Program is a 5-week course that presents a penetrating, subjective view of family and consumer experiences with serious mental illness to line staff at public agencies who work directly with people experiencing severe and persistent mental illnesses.
The course helps providers realize the hardships that families and consumers face and appreciate the courage and persistence it takes to live with and recover from mental illness.
How is the Provider Education course unique?
The Provider Course emphasizes the involvement of consumers and family members as faculty in provider-staff training. The teaching team consists of five people:
- Two family members trained as Family-to-Family Education Program teachers;
- Two consumers who are knowledgeable about their own mental illness, have a supportive relationship with their families, and are dedicated to the process of recovery; and
- A mental health professional who is also a family member or consumer.
Few teaching programs employ consumers in this kind of sustained training effort in which they are paid to participate on a teaching team as they present a 5-week course.
The course reflects a new knowledge base — the “lived experiences” of people coping with a mental illness or caring for someone who lives with a mental illness. Including this deeply personal perspective creates an appreciable difference in the program’s content. It adds a means of teaching the emotional aspects and practical consequences of these illnesses to the academic medical information in the course.