NAMI course on mental illness for family members

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Region – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of North Central Massachusetts will offer NAMI’s 12-week Family-to-Family Education Program, a free course for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses, starting Friday, Sept. 9, in Leominster.

The course, with enrollment limited to 20, will take place on Friday evenings, 6:30-9 p.m., in Leominster, Sept. 9 – Dec. 2 (omitting the Friday after Thanksgiving). Family members from throughout north central Massachusetts are welcome.

The course is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have lived the journey and can relate on a personal level to those seeking knowledge and comfort.

Family-to-Family participants will receive current information on serious mental illnesses such as major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia; learn about medications, side effects and evidence-based treatments; practice problem-solving skills and communication techniques; develop strategies for handling crises and relapses; review local community services and supports; and focus on self-care and coping with stress.

Family-to-Family is a nationally recognized, evidence-based course that has been taught to more than 300,000 individuals across the country. Research has shown that family members who participate in Family-to-Family classes have significantly greater overall empowerment as well as empowerment within their family, the service system and their community; greater knowledge of mental illness; better coping skills; less anxiety related to being able to control conditions; and higher reported levels of problem-solving skills related to family functioning. In other words, the NAMI Family-to-Family education program leads to positive life changes for participants that enable them to feel more in control of their own lives.

This Family-to-Family course is sponsored by a generous grant from the Doyle Community Fund of UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital

Family members who are interested in enrolling in this course should contact Greg at 978-448-3402 ([email protected]), Diane at 978-302-4170 ([email protected]), or Guy at 508-736-3887 ([email protected]).