NAMI Family-to-Family is an 9 week educational course for family, caregivers and friends of adults living with mental illness, facilitated by a trained family member or caregiver with lived experience. Classes are normally offered in the January, April and September of each year.
- Meets for 9 sessions, 3 hours each, free of cost.
- Designed for adult family and friends of loved ones age 18 and over 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.
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.
“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
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.
- Consider taking one of the following classes offered by Santa Clara County Behavioral Health:
- Be Sensitive, Be Brave for Mental Health – 2 hour online class offered by the Santa Clara County. For access to this virtual training, contact Jasmine Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org
- LivingWorks Start – 90 min online training available for FREE to general community members. Click here to sign up for a free online training code for LivingWork Start.
For more information on these two virtual trainings, please contact: Evelyn Quintanilla at email@example.com
- 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):
- NAMI Guide to Navigating Mental Illness:You are Not Alone by Dr. Ken Duckworth
- I am not Sick I Don’t Need Help by Xavier Amador, PhD 10th edition (In English and Spanish) – Very helpful communication guide. (Free Download HERE)
- Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey, MD 5th edition
- When Someone You Love has a Mental Illness by Rebecca Woolis, MFT (In English and Spanish)
- The Family Guide to Mental Health Care by Lloyd I. Sederer, MD 1st edition