NAMI offers Family-to-Family course for family, friends of those with mental illness

Published 3:47 pm Thursday, March 4, 2010

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering a free, 12 week Family-to-Family course for family and friends of those suffering from mental illness. Beginning on Saturday, March 20, classes will be held in Columbus from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The course is taught by carefully trained local family members. Because class size is limited, pre-registration is required. Call 828-859-6611 or 828-894-3507 to register or for further information. This will be the only Family-to-Family course offered this year in Polk County.

Family-to-Family helps loved ones and friends living with mental illness connect and understand. While ensuring confidentiality,the course provides current facts about schizophrenia, clinical depression, bipolar, panic, obsessive-compulsive and borderline personality disorders as well as co-occurring brain and addictive disorders.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Participants learn about symptoms, medications benefits and side effects, community services, understanding the experience of being mentally ill, coping skills for handling crises and relapses, listening and communication skills. This course has been successfully presented both nationally and internationally to more than 150,000 individuals. It is highly regarded in the field of mental health.

Local family members who have taken the course made the following comments: If you have a friend or family member who suffers from mental illness, taking this class is absolutely invaluable. The knowledge and skills you gain, not only in terms of better understanding their illness, but also in terms of reasonable expectations, setting appropriate boundaries, communication, problem solving, etc. can literally be life changing for you. The problems, difficulties and challenges dont go away, but you feel so much better equipped to deal with them. That in itself often leads to better outcomes. Our beloved family members life is severely impacted by mental illness. The relief of having somebody to share with is one of the most valuable things about Family-to-Family classes. You are not alone and the illness is not your fault.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nations largest grassroots mental health organization. It is dedicated to eradicating mental illness, improving the lives of all those affected and dispelling the associated stigma. Founded in 1979, NAMI has become the nations voice on mental illness with organizations in every state and in over 1100 local communities.

The Polk County course is sponsored by NAMI-Four Seasons, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness which serves Henderson and Polk counties.