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Families

The following NAMI programs are designed to educate and support families:

 

Check our event calendar for upcoming Family Support Group meetings

Family Support Groups meet monthly. Intended to encourage, support and empower family members and caregivers of individuals with mental illness, these groups:

  • Are confidential support groups for loved ones of people living with mental illness.
  • Are available free of cost to participants.
  • Give families an opportunity to join a caring group of people helping one another through their learned wisdom.
  • Ensure that families are no longer alone and have a renewed sense of hope.
  • Foster group discussion and interaction.
  • Are led by trained volunteer facilitators who have a loved one living with mental illness.
  • Do not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies.

Support groups are open to any adult family member of an individual living with mental illness. We also run support groups for spouses and parents, both of which meet biweekly.


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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 adults with severe mental illnesses. 

  • The course is taught by trained family members.
  • 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 most effective evidence-based 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.

This class, like our other classes, requires PRE-REGISTRATION.

This class is for caregivers of adults with mental illness. If your loved one who is living with mental illness is under the age of 18, please register for NAMI Basics, below, instead.

If you would like to be added to our email distribution list for NAMI MC communication updates, please sign up here.


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What is NAMI Basics?

NAMI Basics is a signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses.  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. Classes may be offered weekly for six consecutive weeks, or may be offered twice per week for three weeks to accommodate the hectic schedules of parents.

All instruction materials are FREE for participants.

This class is for caregivers of children with mental illness. If your loved one who is living with mental illness is older than 18, please register for Family-to-Family, above, instead.

If you would like to be added to our email distribution list for NAMI MC communication updates, please sign up here.


NAMI MC is launching a new pilot program, NAMI in the Lobby (NITL) this July, at Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville, MD. Since it can be stressful and traumatic to have a loved one in a hospital for a behavioral health related emergency, NITL provides compassion, resources, and hope to families and caregivers. NITL is designed to ease the stress and provide mental health education and support to the families and caregivers.

Trained NITL Volunteers have a designated space in the lobby area of the hospital Emergency Department where they will provide information on NAMI and other local mental health resources in the community. Our trained NITL Volunteers have lived experience in the mental health system and know just how stressful these experiences can be.

NAMI Montgomery County will encourage families to attends our free programs including classes such as Family to Family and Basics, as well as our Support Groups that are offered throughout the county. NAMI also offers our free Family and Peer Support Helpline, plus local events and resources.

NAMI Montgomery County volunteers will be available every Wednesday beginning July 3rd, from 5 pm – 7 pm and Saturdays from 1 pm – 3 pm to assist families and caregivers in the emergency department with support and mental health resources. If you are unable to meet with our NITL volunteers at these designated hours please call our helpline at 301-949-5852 or go to www.namimc.org/resources for our mental health resource guide. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Stephanie Del Cid at stephaniedelcid@namimc.org.

 

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