NAMI Family-to-Family is an 8 week educational course for family, caregivers and friends of individuals living with mental illness, facilitated by a trained family member or caregiver with lived experience.  Classes are normally offered in the Winter (January), Spring and Fall (September).

What You Should Expect

  • Meets for 8 sessions, 2.5 hours each, free of cost.
  • Designed for loved ones (over age 18) of individuals living with mental illness.
  • Taught by trained family members of individuals living with mental illness.
  • Provides critical information and strategies related to care giving.
  • Incorporates presentations, discussion and exercises.
  • Designated an Evidence Based Practice in 2013 by SAMHSA.

Why You Should Attend

A toolkit of information
  • Up-to-date information about a range of mental illnesses, including co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
  • Impact of mental illness on the brain.
  • Current research on treatments including medication, side effects and evidence-based therapies.
  • Training in preparedness and emotional resiliency
  • Skills related to managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively.
  • Strategies for self-care including management of stress and emotional overload.
  • Guidance on locating appropriate local supports and services.
  • 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 mental illness. The in-person group experience of NAMI Family-to-Family 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 Family-to-Family

“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.”
De Familia a Familia de NAMI

To Sign Up for NAMI Family to Family

For more information about NAMI Family to Family, or to sign up for classes:
call 408-453-0400, option1 or email us at

In Other Languages

De Familia a Familia de NAMI en español is also available at NAMI Santa Clara County! 

Family To Family for Mandarin speakers is also available at NAMI Santa Clara County!


Recommended Reading and Activities for Families/Friends

If you are waiting for a Family-to-Family class session to start, we recommend the following:

  • Attend a Family and Friends support group prior to starting Family-to-Family class.  For a list of support groups, see pages 2-3 of our online NAMI Santa Clara Resource Guide
  • Attend an 8-hour “Mental Health First Aid” class offered by the Santa Clara County.  You can contact either:
  • Read one of these excellent books for families and friends (all are available at the NAMI office for a $20 donation, at some bookstores, or online via Amazon):
    • “I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help” by Xavier Amador –  ISBN 978-0-9677189-3-4 (available in Spanish)
    • “When Some One You Love Has a Mental Illness” by Rebecca Woolis  – ISBN 978-0-87477-695-9
    • “The Family Guide to Mental Health Care” by Lloyd I. Sederer, MD – ISBN978-0-393-70794-6