Home     Education     Support     Mental Health     Youth   Resources    Boards    Links  




Family To Family


A Free Education Program For Families Dealing With Brain  Disorders.  Learn about the biology of the  brain disorders known as mental illness.  Take a fascinating look at  some of today's research on brain disorders.


Find the keys to successful problem solving and  communication.  Attend with other family members  in an accepting and confidential setting.  Learn how families unite  against this disability.


Why Family to  Family Education?

A loved one's bewildering,  often bizarre behavior . .  .Embarrassing social stigma ... Fear...  Misplaced guilt ...Confusing medical jargon ... A confusing mental  health and support system. These and other realities of dealing with  brain disorders--also known as mental illness--can be devastating to a  family experiencing them for the first time.

NAMI's mission is to help  families cope with these realities. Through the Family to Family program, family members  can learn to be effective providers and advocates for an ill relative.  Many participants also find the emotional support that is so vital  during times of illness and stress.

What Is Family  to Family?

The Family to Family  Education Program was created by Dr. Joyce  Burland, a psychologist and family member. This twelve-class course,  especially designed for families experiencing the effects of severe  brain disorders, focuses on three major psychiatric illnesses:  schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression), and major  depression. Treatment strategies and coping skills, including improved  communication and problem solving, are covered in the program  curriculum.

Classes are team-taught by  intensively trained family members.  Participants are encouraged to support each other, to be  knowledgeable, and to be effective members of a team that includes the  family, the consumer, the doctor, and the case manager.

How We Do  It

Through twelve classes,  covering:

1. Facts and Feelings -  Learning the Difference.
2. Introduction to  Schizophrenia - Diagnosis and Causes
3. Introduction to  Depression and Bipolar Illness - Diagnosis and Causes
4. Brain  Basics
5. Problem-Solving  Skills
6. Medication
7. Empathy Workshop - What  is it like to experience a brain disorder?
8. Communication  Skills
9. Relative Groups and  Self-Care
10. Rehabilitation  Strategies
11. Advocacy: Fighting  Stigma
12. Celebration!  Certification for those completing the course.

Classes  are free and open to anyone with a family member or close friend experiencing mental  illness.

While classes  are free, REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.