Find Help, Find Hope

For 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 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 a support group for spouses, meeting monthly.


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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 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

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

Please click here to pre-register for the upcoming class that meets on Mondays for 12 weeks beginning Monday, March 27th from 7pm – 9:30pm at Family Services, Inc., located in Suite 100 at 610 East Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Once you pre-register, someone will contact you in one week to complete registration

If you would like to be added to our email distribution list for the Family-to-Family class, please sign up here.

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.

 


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What is NAMI Basics?

NAMI Basics is the new 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 to participants.

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

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 the NAMI Basics class, please sign up here.


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NAMI Homefront is a free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and vets with mental health conditions.

Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans living with mental health conditions.

What You’ll Gain

Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all people affected by mental illness. This in-person group experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and shared positive impact. You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow.

NAMI Homefront teaches you how to:

  • Manage crises, solve problems and communicate effectively
  • Learn to care for yourself, including managing your stress
  • Develop the confidence and stamina to support your family member with compassion
  • Identify and access federal, state and local services
  • Stay informed on the latest research and information on mental health, including posttraumatic stress disorder and substance abuse
  • Understand current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects
  • Navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on the entire family

What People are Saying

“You realize that he will never be the same having been through war. I learned how to treat him more as an adult than as a hurt child.”Mother of a Veteran after graduating from a NAMI Family-to-Family class held at a VA clinic

“We are still friends with everyone that was in the class. There’s always and open ear and an open heart and a shoulder to cry on if you need it.” Father of a Veteran after graduating from a NAMI Family-to-Family class held at a VA hospital

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

If you would like to sign up for our email distribution list for Homefront, please click here.


 

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

Ask the Doctor

As part of the NAMI Basics Education Program curriculum development, NAMI’s Medical Director, Dr. Ken Duckworth, answers a few of the most commonly asked questions by parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents with mental illness.

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