Across the country, thousands of trained NAMI volunteers bring peer-led classes to a wide variety of community settings, from churches to schools to NAMI Affiliates. With the unique understanding of people with lived experience, these classes provide outstanding free education, skills training, and support. Prior registration is required, but there is no cost to participate in these courses.
NAMI Family-to-Family is an 8-session course for families, significant others, and friends of people with mental health conditions. The course is designed to facilitate a better understanding of mental health conditions, increase coping skills, and empower participants to become advocates for their family members. This program was designated as an evidence-based program by SAMHSA. NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises.
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
To learn more, visit NAMI’s Family-to-Family page.
NAMI Peer-to-Peer is an 8-session course for adults (18+) with mental health conditions. The course is designed to encourage growth, healing, and recovery among participants. Register for NAMI Peer-to-Peer here. Taught by trained leaders with lived experience, this program includes activities, discussions and informative videos. However, as with all NAMI programs, it does not include recommendations for treatment approaches.
NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a safe, confidential space. The course provides an opportunity for mutual support and growth. Experience compassion and understanding from people who relate to your experiences. This is a place to learn more about recovery in an accepting environment.
NAMI Peer-to-Peer helps you:
- Set a vision and goals for the future
- Partner with health care providers
- Develop confidence for making decisions
- Practice relaxation and stress reduction tools
- Share your story
- Strengthen relationships
- Enhance communication skills
- Learn about mental health treatment options
To learn more, visit NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer page.
NAMI Basics is a 6-session education program for parents, caregivers and other family who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms. This program is free to participants, 99% of whom say they would recommend the program to others.
NAMI Basics Covers:
- The impact mental health conditions can have on your entire family
- Different types of mental health care professionals, available treatment options and therapies
- An overview of the public mental health care, school and juvenile justice systems and resources to help you navigate these systems
- How to advocate for your child’s rights at school and in health care settings
- How to prepare for and respond to crisis situations (self-harm, suicide attempts, etc.)
- The importance of taking care of yourself
- Much, much more
Currently, NAMI Basics is only available online through NAMI Basics OnDemand.
NAMI Homefront is a 6-session class for families, caregivers, and friends of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions. This course is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country.
NAMI Homefront teaches you how to:
- Learn to care for yourself, including managing your stress
- 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, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression and substance use
- Understand current treatments and evidence-based therapies
- Navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on the entire family
- Manage a crisis, solve problems and communicate effectively
We are not currently offering any in-person classes. However, registration is now open for online NAMI Homefront. The course will run from early January through mid-February. Visit nami.org/homefront to learn more and to register.
The lack of mental health crisis services across the U.S. has resulted in law enforcement officers serving as first responders to most crises. A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is an innovative, community-based approach to improve the outcomes of these encounters.
In over 2,700 communities nationwide, CIT programs create connections between law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency services and individuals with mental illness and their families. Through collaborative community partnerships and intensive training, CIT improves communication, identifies mental health resources for those in crisis and ensures officer and community safety.
NAMI Family & Friends is a seminar (available in 4-hour or 90-minute format) that informs and supports people who have loved ones with a mental health condition. Participants learn about diagnoses, treatment, recovery, communication strategies, crisis preparation and NAMI resources. Seminar leaders have personal experience with mental health conditions in their families.