Programs and Services
All NAMI education programs and support groups are free.
Education Programs runs various dates and times through the year.
To register for the next course, or for more information call the NAMI office at 440-639-1200 or click the links below.
For Families, Caregivers or Friends of Adults with Mental Illness
Classes meet weekly for 12 sessions. Call to register for the next session or register on line:
Family-to-Family Education is a free 12 session program for families of individuals diagnosed with mental illness, including co-occurring disorders. The program covers a review of diagnoses, problem solving, communication skills, self-care, and advocacy.Classes are not diagnosis-specific, although specific information is given. Family-to-Family focuses first on the well-being of family members, though research shows there are secondary benefits to the individual with an illness. Emphasis is on the common issues, needs, and concerns of family members.
For Families or Caregivers of Children with Mental Illness or Severe Emotional Disturbances
Classes meet weekly for 6 weeks. Call to register for the next session or register on line:
Learning your child has a mental illness can change family life profoundly. You not only deal with the illness itself but also navigating unfamiliar terrain which can be challenging.
NAMI Basics is a 6-week free education program providing an important road map to guide you during challenging times… this course gives the basic information necessary to take the best care possible of your child, as well as the rest of your family – and yourself! The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years. The course consists of six classes, each lasting for 2 ½ hours.
For Individuals with Mental Illness
Classes meet weekly for 8 weeks. Call to register for the next session or register on line:
Peer-to-Peer is a unique, experiential learning program for people with any serious mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery.
Peer-to-Peer consists of ten two-hour units and is taught by a team of two trained “Mentors” and a volunteer support person who are personally experienced at living well with mental illness.
Participants come away from the course with a binder of hand-out materials, as well as many other tangible resources: an advance directive; a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behavior, or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organize for intervention; mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking; and survival skills for working with providers and the general public.
- For family members/loved ones of someone living with a mental illness
- Meets once a month
The NAMI Support Group model (formerly called the “Family-to-Family Support Group model”) operates differently than other, more traditional “share-and-care” groups. The NAMI Support Group model offers a set of key structures and group processes for facilitators to use in common support group scenarios. These structures come with clear guidelines to follow; used together, they encourage full group participation in support group meetings. The structures of the new model feel comfortable for both seasoned and less-experienced facilitators because they guide the support group along in every The NAMI Facilitator Skills Support Group training enables support group facilitators to run useful, helpful support groups. NAMI affiliates know that effective support groups are a key facet of NAMI’s grassroots organization.
The NAMI Support Group model is not just for Family-to-Family Education course graduates, nor is it just for family members. It is a model that can be used by any NAMI support group. Encourage your state organization to begin to implement the NAMI Support Group model by sending two people to the NAMI National Facilitator Skills Workshop in June to become state trainers. Your state trainers will then conduct state and local level workshops to train facilitators in your state in the NAMI Support Group model.
“Using the support group model is so essential to the success of our family support groups. Without the training, networking, and support of the group members I fear that support groups would become nothing more than “cry” sessions or “gripe” sessions. As a group the collective wisdom covered a lot of possibilities towards the issues.”
NAMI Family & Friends is a free 90-minute or four-hour seminar that informs people who have loved ones with a mental health condition how to best support them. It’s also an opportunity to meet other people in similar situations and gain community support.
The seminar is led by trained people with lived experience of supporting a family member with a mental health condition.
NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group
NAMI Connection is a weekly recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each others’ experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding.
What is IOOV?
In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program developed by NAMI, in which two trained consumer speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery.
The program was started with a grant from Eli Lily and Company.
IOOV is an opportunity for those who have struggled with mental illness to gain confidence and to share their individual experiences of recovery and transformation.
Throughout the IOOV presentation, audience members are encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions. Audience participation is an important aspect of IOOV because the more audience members become involved, the closer they come to understanding what it is like to live with a mental illness and stay in recovery.
IOOV presentations are given to consumer groups, students, law enforcement officials, educators, providers, faith community members, politicians, professionals, inmates, and interested civic groups.
All presentations are offered free of charge.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid USA is managed, operated, and disseminated by three national authorities — the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
Mental Health First Aid is offered in the form of an interactive 12-hour course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S. and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Those who take the 12-hour course to certify as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.
What is NAMI Provider Education?
The NAMI Provider Education Program is a 5-week course that presents a penetrating, subjective view of family and consumer experiences with serious mental illness to line staff at public agencies who work directly with people experiencing severe and persistent mental illnesses.
The course helps providers realize the hardships that families and consumers face and appreciate the courage and persistence it takes to live with and recover from mental illness.
How is the Provider Education course unique?
The Provider Course emphasizes the involvement of consumers and family members as faculty in provider-staff training. The teaching team consists of five people:
- Two family members trained as Family-to-Family Education Program teachers;
- Two consumers who are knowledgeable about their own mental illness, have a supportive relationship with their families, and are dedicated to the process of recovery; and
- A mental health professional who is also a family member or consumer.
Few teaching programs employ consumers in this kind of sustained training effort in which they are paid to participate on a teaching team as they present a 5-week course.
The course reflects a new knowledge base — the “lived experiences” of people coping with a mental illness or caring for someone who lives with a mental illness. Including this deeply personal perspective creates an appreciable difference in the program’s content. It adds a means of teaching the emotional aspects and practical consequences of these illnesses to the academic medical information in the course.
Crisis Intervention Training
NAMI partner programs like Army One Source and Make the Connection provide much-needed help for veterans and for those who treat them and their families.
NAMI on Campus
NAMI on Campus provides information and resources to support students living with mental health conditions and to empower them to take action on their campuses. This site also includes materials to help colleges in improving the academic and social experience of their students by addressing the mental health needs of all students.