United Methodist Church
A NAMI FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP is a support group for family members who have loved ones living with mental illness. Family members share experiences and resources in a safe and nurturing environment. Family Support Group facilitators are trained, volunteer family members. Confidentiality is maintained and all groups are free.
Family Support Groups are an important resource for families who have a loved one with a mental illness. Knowing that others have had the same experience is a relief to families who have seldom spoken about mental illness to neighbors, friends, or often, even relatives. Learning that others have been able to work out some common issues can inspire hope.
Through the NAMI Family Support Groups, you will find:
- A network of friends who care and understand
- Ideas that help you take care of yourself and your family
- A chance to share your experience and learn from others who have been there
NAMI Connection is a recovery support group program for adults living with mental illness that is expanding in communities throughout the country. These groups provide a place that offers respect, understanding, encouragement, and hope.
NAMI Connection groups offer a casual and relaxed approach to sharing the challenges and successes of coping with mental illness. Each group:
Meets weekly for 90 minutes
Is offered free of charge
Follows a flexible structure without an educational format
Does not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies
All groups are confidential – participants can share as much or as little personal information as they wish.
Meetings will be guided by NAMI Connection’s Principles of Support.
Who can attend a NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group?
Support groups are open to all adults with mental illness, regardless of diagnosis. Participants should feel welcome to drop by and share feelings, difficulties, or successes.
Mental Health Crisis Planning Workshop
Mental Health Crisis Planning is a free, 2 hour long workshop for family members, significant others and friends of people living with a mental illness. Learn the symptoms that can lead to a crisis, steps to take, de-escalation techniques and the role of county crisis teams. Develop a crisis plan for your family.
What You Will Gain
NAMI Mental Health Crisis Planning not only provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, but you’ll also find out that you’re not alone. The group setting provides mutual support and shared experience – you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through sharing your own experiences.
Important components of this course are:
- Causes of a crisis
- Internal and external triggers
- How to recognize signs of a crisis
- De-escalation techniques
- The role of county crisis teams
- When to call 911
- Law enforcement response
- Going to the emergency room
- Communication skills
- Community resources
- Problem solving
- Crisis prevention
- Creating a crisis plan
- Suicide prevention
NAMI programs offer the opportunity to gain insight, hope, acceptance, compassion and confidence in caring for a family member with a mental illness and/or co-occurring substance abuse disorder.
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-week education program for family members, significant others and friends of people living with mental illness. Family-to-Family is an evidenced-based program, meaning research has shown completing the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of those closest to an individual living with a mental health condition. Many family members describe their experience in the program as “life-changing”. Over 300,000 people have completed this course which is offered in 49 states, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico. NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussion and interactive exercises.
What You’ll Gain
NAMI Family-to-Family not only provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, but you’ll also find out that you’re not alone. Recovery is a journey and there is hope.
The group setting of NAMI Family-to-Family provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through sharing your own experiences.
Important components of this course are:
- Information on the following mental disorders: Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder (Manic-depressive Disorder), Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Co-Occurring Brain Disorders (mental illness and combined substance abuse)
- Biology of the brain/new research
- Coping skills; handling crisis and relapse
- Listening and communication techniques (role playing)
- Problem solving and limit setting; rehabilitation
- Empathy: understanding the actual experience of people living with mental illness
- Self-care; learning how to recognize normal emotional reactions among families; how to deal with chronic worry and stress
- Basic information about medications and their side effects
- Information about connecting with appropriate community services and community supports
- Advocacy: Obtaining better services, fighting stigma
The following quotes from family graduates of the Family-to-Family course demonstrate the impact of this course:
- “This course has been the best thing to happen in years. It gave me an insight into my son’s illness, an understanding of his behavior, and a support group for me to turn to in time of need. I don’t feel so isolated…”
- “How did I not know about this course before? Would that all people could take it! I think I have come a long way toward acceptance of my daughter’s illness, realizing there’s no “one answer” to the problems she presents and feeling generally more comfortable compassionate and confident in dealing with her. I “beat up” on myself much less when I find myself ineffective.”
- “I have benefited greatly from this class. I am now able to be with my son and not be angry! I now look beyond his illness to the person beneath. I am also learning to let go.”
- “A life-saver for me personally – It was Excellent. I benefited from this course more than any other form of education I have found.”
- “Knowledge is power. This class has given me the ability to be a part of my daughter’s treatment, and not part of her problem.
- I no longer have the fear that I carried before taking this class.”