Friends and Family

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is a designated evidenced-based program. This means that research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to a person with a mental health condition.

NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises.

 

What You’ll Gain

NAMI Family-to-Family not only provides 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—experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. Sharing your own experience may help others in your class. In the program, you'll learn about:

  • How to solve problems and communicate effectively

  • Taking care of yourself and managing your stress

  • Supporting your loved one with compassion

  • Finding and using local supports and services

  • Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain

  • How to handle a crisis

  • Current treatments and therapies

  • The impact of mental health conditions on the entire family

 

What People Are Saying

"The course gave me hope that it will be okay, that I am not alone and reduced a lot of shame, guilt and hopelessness."

"I wish I'd known about this seven years ago when the problem began. I felt safe in this class. I was able to talk about things I haven't been comfortable expressing elsewhere."

"Before I took the course, I felt alone and overwhelmed dealing with my daughter’s mental illness. By taking this course, I have met others who are going through the same things I am and have learned about many resources that I never knew existed."

"I thought my wife and I knew just about everything there is to know about the system and the illness. Boy, were we wrong. Without a doubt, this is the best support course I have had the privilege of taking part in, bar none."

 

Sign Up For A Class

Find the NAMI Family-to-Family class nearest to you. If a class isn’t available, contact your local NAMI Affiliate about starting one.

A Spanish-language version of NAMI Family-to-Family, De Familia a Familia de NAMI, is available in a limited number of states.

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NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for any adult with a loved one who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar experiences.

NAMI’s support groups are unique because they follow a structured model, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to be heard and to get what they need.

  • Free of cost to participants

  • Designed for adult loved ones of people with mental health conditions

  • Led by family members of people with mental health conditions

  • 60-90 minutes long and meets weekly, every other week or monthly (varies by location)

  • No specific medical therapy or treatment is endorsed

  • Confidential

What You’ll Gain

By sharing your experiences in a safe setting, you can gain hope and develop supportive relationships. This group allows your voice to be heard and provides an opportunity for your personal needs to be met. It encourages empathy, productive discussion and a sense of community. You'll benefit from other’s experiences, discover your inner strength and empower yourself by sharing your own experiences in a non-judgmental space.

NAMI Family Support Group will help you:

  • Aim for better coping skills

  • Find strength in sharing experiences

  • Not judge anyone’s pain

  • Forgive ourselves and reject guilt

  • Embrace humor as healthy

  • Accept that we cannot solve every problem

  • Understand that mental health conditions are no one's fault and can be traumatic experiences

What People Are Saying

“The most beneficial thing for me was that I am not alone. I found the NAMI Family Support Group at the time I really needed it!”

"The support group facilitators and attendees were respectful of other people's experiences and were non-judgmental when there were different ways of handling things."

"I felt I received constructive, practical and helpful information from group members."

"Using the [NAMI] support group model is so essential to the success of our family support groups. As a group, the collective wisdom covered a lot of possibilities."

Find A Support Group

Find the NAMI Family Support Group nearest to you. If a support group isn’t available, contact your local NAMI Affiliate about starting one.

Sharing Hope: Speaking With African Americans About Mental Health

Lack of information and misconceptions surrounding mental health issues prevent many members of the African American community from getting the help and support they need. Sharing Hope is an hour-long presentation that can help increase mental health awareness in African American communities by addressing a number of important topics:

  • The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression

  • How to talk about mental health and decrease stigma

  • An overview of recovery and how it’s possible

  • The types of mental health services and supports available, including NAMI education and support programs

What’s Included In The Presentation?

  • A presenter team made up of at least two individuals–a person living with a mental health condition and a family member of a person with a mental health condition.

  • A scripted 60-minute interactive dialogue centered on the presenters’ personal connections to mental health and journeys to recovery.

  • A handout for presentation audiences, Sharing Hope: An African American Guide to Mental Health. This educational booklet provides mental health information through personal stories and highlights how and where to find help.

  • Detailed checklists, practice sheets and other materials to help you make community connections and plan a successful presentation.

The tools and resources in Sharing Hope are all modifiable, so they can be adapted to fit your needs and resources.

How Do I Start Sharing Hope?

Sharing Hope requires you to reach out and build relationships in your community.

You must be directly involved with a NAMI State Organization or NAMI Affiliate to use these resources. Get started by downloading the materials release form.

If you have any questions, please contact the NAMI Multicultural Action Center.

Sharing Hope has been adapted for the Latino community. Click here to learn more about Compartiendo Esperanza, a fully bilingual adaptation of this initiative.