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Programs and Services

for Families…

  • 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 Minnesota 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. Minnesota trainers will then conduct state and local level workshops to train facilitators in Minnesota 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.”


What is NAMI’s Family-to-Family Program?

The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free, 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses.

  • The course is taught by trained family members
  • All instruction and course materials are free to class participants
  • Over 300,000 family members have graduated from this national program

What does the course include?

  • Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders and addictive disorders
  • Up-to-date information about medications, side effects, and strategies for medication adherence
  • Current research related to the biology of brain disorders and the evidence-based, most effective treatments to promote recovery
  • Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness
  • Learning in special workshops for problem solving, listening, and communication techniques
  • Acquiring strategies for handling crises and relapse
  • Focusing on care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress, and emotional overload
  • Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community
  • Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services.

Click here to view calendar.


 for People Living With Mental Illness …

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. Click here to view calendar. 


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.


 for Everyone…

Discover the Resources at NAMI FaithNet

NAMI National FaithNet has exciting new resources for utilization by NAMI members in their advocacy to their places of worship.  These resources are available for downloading on NAMI FaithNet’s Web site, (www.nami.org/faithnet).

These new modules are proving to be very helpful in developing ministry for those with a mental illness and their families in Faith Communities.  I encourage you to review them on the NAMI FaithNet website.

To effectively utilize these Power-Point presentations for self or group study, it is necessary to download the files and save them to your desk top.  This will enable you to access the notes section which is essential to gain the full value of the training.  The slides by themselves only contain the main points.  The notes are made available by clicking on View in the tool bar at the top of your screen after the Power Point slides have been downloaded.

Educational Modules available at www.nami.org/faithnet.

Education leads to understanding.

Understanding leads to empathy.

Empathy leads to loving compassionate care.

Education leads to understanding.  Understanding leads to empathy. Empathy leads to loving compassionate care.  Because of the need for education to start this chain reaction, NAMI FaithNet of Orange County has initiated a monthly training and sharing session (except  December) for those attempting to initiate or expand ministry with those affected by mental illness.  This month’s session included a discussion of NAMI FaithNet’s outreach and other NAMI programs (e.g. Family to Family, Peer to Peer and etc.), which can play an important role in the education of those in our congregations who have a mental illness and their families.

These new modules are also designed to be helpful for advocating to our fellow parishioners who do not have a mental illness.  Reaching the 80% who do not have a mental illness or have a family member with one of these “no fault” disorders is particularly important in our attempts to develop a sustained ministry in Faith Communities.

Please be assured that these modules are not intended to replace any of NAMI’s programs.  They are designed to work hand-in-hand with them.  Those of us on the six member NAMI National FaithNet advisory group strongly recommend taking NAMI’s Family to Family or Peer to Peer class before participating in Faith Community outreach.


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.


 for Professionals…

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.

Click here for more information on NAMI Minnesota’s Provider Education.


 for Veterans…

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.

Click for more information

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