NAMI Basics is a free, 6-session education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens under the age of 22 who are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition or who have already been diagnosed. 

The class covers the following:

  • Introduction to the stages of emotional reactions of the family to the mental health condition; including crisis, shock, denial, grief and acceptance.

  • Insights into understanding of the lived experience of the child living with the mental health condition, including learning to separate the child you love from the illness that alters their behavior and abilities.

  • Current information about Attention Deficit Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorders.

  • Current research related to the biology of mental health conditions and the evidence-based, most effective treatment strategies available, including medications used to treat mental health challenges in children and adolescents.

  • Specific workshops to learn problem solving, listening and communication skills.

  • Examples of strategies that have been found helpful in handling challenging behaviors in children and adolescents.

  • Information about the systems that are major players in the lives of children and adolescents with mental illness – the school system and the mental health system.

  • Exposure to personal record keeping systems that have proven to be effective for parents/caregivers in their interactions with the school and healthcare systems.

  • Information on planning for crisis management and relapse.

  • Information on locating appropriate supports and services within the community to build a community of support for the parent/caregiver.

  • Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services, with an emphasis on personal advocates for the parent/caregiver and child on an individual level.

Next Class

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