NAMI Austin is excited to offer at least five more offerings of its Family-to-Family classes in the Austin area this fall.  In May, the national office of NAMI announced that the Family-to-Family Program had been added to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

As Executive Director, Michael Fitzpatrick pointed out, “It is an affirmation of one of NAMI’s signature education programs, established over 20 years ago, which to date has already helped more than 300,000 family members of people living with mental illness.”

Family-to-Family is a free 12-session course taught by other family members who have received intensive training for its presentation. Instruction and course materials are provided free to class participants.

Class topics include:

  • Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders and addictive disorders.
  • Up-to-date information about medications, side effects, and strategies for medication adherence.
  • Current research related to the biology of brain disorders and evidence-based treatments o promote recovery.
  • Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness.
  • Problem solving, listening, and communication techniques.
  • Acquiring strategies for handling mental health crises and relapse.
  • Focusing on care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress, and emotional overload.
  • Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community.
  • Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand mental health services.

NAMI Austin’s schedule for the fall includes classes beginning on the following dates at various locations: September 5 (for families of veterans), September 11 (two classes, one in Spanish), September 16 and September 17.  For more information, call the office at 512-420-9810 or e-mail info [at] namiaustin [dot] org. REGISTRATION is required.  Please fill out this Family-to-Family Registration Form and return it to the office.

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