Family to Family

Family to Family instructor Janet Polzer, teaching a segment of the course.

Family to Family instructor Janet Polzer, teaching a segment of the course.

Family-to-Family Education Courses

This is a twelve week series of free evening classes covering information about schizophrenia, the mood disorders (bipolar disorder /manic depression and major depression), panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder; coping skills such as handling crisis and relapse; medications; listening and communication techniques; problem-solving skills; recovery and rehabilitation; and self care around worry and stress.

  • Free for family members, partners and friends of individuals with Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression), Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Co-occurring brain disorders and Addictive Disorders.
  • A series of 12 weekly classes structured to help caregivers understand and support individuals with serious mental illness while maintaining their own well being. The course is taught by a team of trained NAMI family member volunteers who know what it is like to have a loved one struggling with one of these brain disorders.
  • The course is free and is normally offered in the spring and fall.
  • Over 80,000 people in the U.S. and Canada have completed the course. We think you will be pleased by how much assistance the program offers.

You attend with other family members like you in a confidential setting. You learn about what your relative is actually experiencing. You learn how families unite together against this disability. You learn about the biology of the brain disorders known as mental illness. And, you take a fascinating look inside some of today’s current research on brain disorders.

Topics include:

  • Learning about feelings, learning about facts
  • Schizophrenia, major depression and manic: diagnosis and dealing with critical periods
  • Subtypes of depression and bipolar disorder, panic disorder and OCD: diagnosis and causes; sharing your story
  • The biology of the brain: new research
  • Problem solving workshop
  • Medication review
  • Empathy workshop–what it’s like to have a brain disorder
  • Communication skills workshop
  • Self-care and relative groups
  • Rehabilitation services available
  • Advocacy: fighting stigma
  • Review and certification