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The fundamentals of caring for you, your family and your child with mental illness

NAMI Basics is an educational program for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses. It covers the fundamentals of caring for yourself, for your family and for your child.

What You Should Expect

  • Meets for six sessions, 2.5 hours each, free of cost.
  • Designed for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illness.
  • Taught by a team of trained teachers who are family caregivers of individuals who developed symptoms of mental illness as children.
  • Provides critical information and strategies related to caregiving.
  • Incorporates presentations, discussion and interactive exercises.

Why You Should Attend

A toolkit of information

  • Up-to-date information on a range of mental illnesses and their impact on the brain.
  • Current research on treatments including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects.
  • Preparation for interactions with the mental health care system, school system and juvenile justice system.

Training in preparedness and emotional resiliency

  • Skills related to managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively.
  • Strategies for self-care and for navigating the challenges presented by mental illness for each family member.
  • Empowerment as an effective advocate for your child.
  • Confidence and stamina for life-long understanding and support.

A community

Perhaps most importantly, as a participant you can gain comfort in knowing you are not alone. Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all families and individuals dealing with a brain disorder. The in-person group experience of NAMI Basics provides the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact. You can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow.

What Others Have to Say About NAMI Basics

“This class was unexpectedly wonderful! I did not expect to learn so very, very much! It covers so much more than basics that the title doesn’t do it justice.”

“This is such a great step by step program that walks parents every step of the way. It is as if you are holding their hand through it all.”

Helpful Information Until You Join a Class

Ask the Doctor

NAMI’s Medical Director, Dr. Ken Duckworth, answers a few of the most commonly asked questions by parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents with mental illness. View the video!

Kids in the House: the Ultimate Parenting Resource 

Search and learn from over 8,000 videos from top experts and parents, include NAMI’s Medical Director, Dr. Ken Duckworth.

Sample Record Keeping System

NAMI Child and Adolescent Center (CAAC): Information for Parents and Other Caregivers

2014 NAMI Basics Training

June 27 -29, 2014 at the Austin State Hospital Campus

  • Training, materials and meals provided at no cost.
  • Prospective teachers must be parents or primary caregivers of an individual who exhibited symptoms of a mental illness prior to age 13.
  • Prospective teachers do not have to be graduates of a NAMI Basics course.
  • Prospective teachers must commit to teaching at least two classes within a two year period.
  • Please download the NAMI Basics Teacher Application and return by email to info@namiaustin.org or mail to P.O. Box 302398, Austin 78703.