NAMI Basics is a free, 6-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or who have already been diagnosed.

Basics Brochure 2015

NAMI Basics is offered in a group setting so you can connect with other people face-to-face.  You’ll learn the facts about mental health conditions and how best to support your child at home, at school and when they’re getting medical care. Last year, 99% of participants told us they would recommend the program to other parents. The course is taught by a trained team with lived experience—they know what you’re going through because they’ve been there.  The 6-session program provides critical strategies for taking care of your child and learning the ropes of recovery.

What You Should Expect

  • Meets for six sessions, 2.5 hours each, free of cost.
  • Designed for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illness.
  • Taught by a team of trained teachers who are family caregivers of individuals who developed symptoms of mental illness as children.
  • Provides critical information and strategies related to caregiving.
  • Incorporates presentations, discussion and interactive exercises.

Why You Should Attend

A toolkit of information:
  • Up-to-date information on a range of mental illnesses and their impact on the brain.
  • Current research on treatments including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects.
  • Preparation for interactions with the mental health care system, school system and juvenile justice system.
Training in preparedness and emotional resiliency:
  • Skills related to managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively.
  • Strategies for self-care and for navigating the challenges presented by mental illness for each family member.
  • Empowerment as an effective advocate for your child.
  • Confidence and stamina for life-long understanding and support.
A community:

Perhaps most importantly, as a participant you can gain comfort in knowing you are not alone. Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all families and individuals dealing with a brain disorder. The in-person group experience of NAMI Basics provides the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact. You can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow.

What Others Have to Say About NAMI Basics

“This class was unexpectedly wonderful! I did not expect to learn so very, very much! It covers so much more than basics that the title doesn’t do it justice.”

“This is such a great step by step program that walks parents every step of the way. It is as if you are holding their hand through it all.”

==> For more information, or to sign up for the NAMI Basics class, email the NAMI Warmline Help Desk, or call 408-453-0400, option1.