Programs and Services
The NAMI Support Group model (formerly called the “Family-to-Family Support Group model”) operates differently than other, more traditional “share-and-care” groups. The NAMI Support Group model offers a set of key structures and group processes for facilitators to use in common support group scenarios. These structures come with clear guidelines to follow; used together, they encourage full group participation in support group meetings. The structures of the new model feel comfortable for both seasoned and less-experienced facilitators because they guide the support group along in every situation.
As a facilitator, how do you ensure that a support group starts and stops on time? What do you do if someone monopolizes all of the group’s time? How should you handle disrespectful group members? What should you do if someone brings up a “hot potato” subject such as suicide or involuntary commitment? What about someone who seems to have a problem that’s just not solvable? How do you ensure that quiet members in the group get a chance to participate?
Support group facilitators face these issues in their groups every day. And effective support group facilitators are the key to making any support group experience positive and productive. The NAMI Facilitator Skills Support Group training enables support group facilitators to run useful, helpful support groups. NAMI affiliates know that effective support groups are a key facet of NAMI’s grassroots organization.
The NAMI Support Group model is not just for Family-to-Family Education course graduates, nor is it just for family members. It is a model that can be used by any NAMI support group. Encourage your state organization to begin to implement the NAMI Support Group model by sending two people to the NAMI National Facilitator Skills Workshop in June to become state trainers. Your state trainers will then conduct state and local level workshops to train facilitators in your state in the NAMI Support Group model.
NAMI FaithNet is a network composed of members and friends of NAMI. It was established for the purposes of:
- Facilitating the development within the faith community of a non-threatening, supportive environment for those with mental illness and their families
- Pointing out the value of one’s spirituality in the recovery process from mental illness and the need for spiritual strength for those who are caretakers.
- Educating clergy and faith communities concerning mental illness and
- Encouraging advocacy of the faith community to bring about hope and help for all who are affected by mental illness.
People With Mental Illness
What is NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Program?
Outreach Video for NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education Course.
Peer-to-Peer is a unique, experiential learning program for people with any serious mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery.
The course was written by Kathryn Cohan McNulty, a person with a psychiatric disability who is also a former provider and manager in the mental health field and a longtime mutual support group member and facilitator.
An advisory board comprised of NAMI consumer members, in consultation with Joyce Burland, Ph.D., author of the successful NAMI Family-to-Family Education program, helped guide the curriculum’s development.
Since 2005, NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Recovery Program has been supported by AstraZeneca.
What does the course include?
Peer-to-Peer consists of ten two-hour units and is taught by a team of two trained “Mentors” and a volunteer support person who are personally experienced at living well with mental illness.
Mentors are trained in an intensive three day training session and are supplied with teaching manuals.
Participants come away from the course with a binder of hand-out materials, as well as many other tangible resources: an advance directive; a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behavior, or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organize for intervention; mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking; and survival skills for working with providers and the general public.
For general inquiries, please contact: email@example.com
NAMI Office: 800-950-6264 or 703-524-7600
A recovery support group program for adults living with mental illness that is expanding in communities throughout the country. These groups provide a place that offers respect, understanding, encouragement, and hope.
NAMI Connection groups offer a casual and relaxed approach to sharing the challenges and successes of coping with mental illness. Each group:
- Meets weekly for 90 minutes
- Is offered free of charge
- Follows a flexible structure without an educational format
- Does not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies
All groups are confidential – participants can share as much or as little personal information as they wish.
Meetings will be guided by NAMI Connection’s Principles of Support.
Who Can Attend A NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group?
Support groups are open to all adults with mental illness, regardless of diagnosis. Participants should feel welcome to drop by and share feelings, difficulties, or successes.
What is IOOV?
The In Our Own Voice program and its impact on participant’s lives… in their own voice.
In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program developed by NAMI, in which two trained consumer speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery.
The program was started with a grant from Eli Lily and Company.
IOOV is an opportunity for those who have struggled with mental illness to gain confidence and to share their individual experiences of recovery and transformation.
Throughout the IOOV presentation, audience members are encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions. Audience participation is an important aspect of IOOV because the more audience members become involved, the closer they come to understanding what it is like to live with a mental illness and stay in recovery.
IOOV presentations are given to consumer groups, students, law enforcement officials, educators, providers, faith community members, politicians, professionals, inmates, and interested civic groups.
All presentations are offered free of charge.
Groups or organizations interested in seeing a presentation may request that one be given in their area through their state or local affiliate.
The goals of IOOV are to meet the need for consumer- run initiatives, to set a standard for quality education about mental illness from those who have been there, to offer genuine work opportunities, to encourage self-confidence and self-esteem in presenters, and to focus on recovery and the message of hope.
Anyone familiar with mental illness knows that recovery is not a singular event, but a multi-dimensional, multi-linear journey characterized more by the mindset of the one taking it than by his or her condition at any given moment along the way.
Understanding recovery as having several dimensions makes its uneven course easier to accept. Much as we don’t blame the cancer patient for dying of invasive tumors, we can’t condemn a consumer whose symptoms overtake his or her best efforts to manage illness.
Recovery is the point in someone’s illness in which the illness is no longer the first and foremost part of his or her life, no longer the essence of all his or her existence.
Ultimately, recovery is about attitude and making the effort.
What Is NAMI’s Family-To-Family Program?
The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free, 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses.
- The course is taught by trained family members
- Over 300,000 family members have graduated from this national program
What Does The Course 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 the evidence-based, most effective treatments to promote recovery
- Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness
- Learning in special workshops for problem solving, listening, and communication techniques
- Acquiring strategies for handling 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 services
What Is NAMI Basics?
NAMI Basics is the new signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses. The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years.
The course consists of six classes, each lasting for 2 ½ hours. Classes may be offered weekly for six consecutive weeks, or may be offered twice per week for three weeks to accommodate the hectic schedules of parents.
All instruction materials are FREE to participants.
Ask The Doctor
As part of the NAMI Basics Education Program curriculum development, 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.
Active and retired members of the armed forces do not necessarily have to go through the VA to get assistance for PTSD and other related issues.
To speak confidentially with a Vet Center Counselor at any time around the clock call 877-WAR-VETS (927-8387)
NAMI partner programs like Army One Source and Make the Connection provide much-needed help for veterans and for those who treat them and their families. NAMI’s Veteran Resources Page
Make the Connection, The U.S. Government’s resource guide for veterans.
NAMI on Campus provides information and resources to support students living with mental health conditions and to empower them to take action on their campuses. This site also includes materials to help colleges in improving the academic and social experience of their students by addressing the mental health needs of all students. For more information, click here.
What is NAMI Provider Education?
The NAMI Provider Education Program is a 5-week course that presents a penetrating, subjective view of family and consumer experiences with serious mental illness to line staff at public agencies who work directly with people experiencing severe and persistent mental illnesses.
The course helps providers realize the hardships that families and consumers face and appreciate the courage and persistence it takes to live with and recover from mental illness.
How is the Provider Education course unique?
The Provider Course emphasizes the involvement of consumers and family members as faculty in provider-staff training. The teaching team consists of five people:
- Two family members trained as Family-to-Family Education Program teachers;
- Two consumers who are knowledgeable about their own mental illness, have a supportive relationship with their families, and are dedicated to the process of recovery; and
- A mental health professional who is also a family member or consumer.
Few teaching programs employ consumers in this kind of sustained training effort in which they are paid to participate on a teaching team as they present a 5-week course.
The course reflects a new knowledge base — the “lived experiences” of people coping with a mental illness or caring for someone who lives with a mental illness. Including this deeply personal perspective creates an appreciable difference in the program’s content. It adds a means of teaching the emotional aspects and practical consequences of these illnesses to the academic medical information in the course.
NAMI Family Support Group
Meets every 2nd and 4th Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 7PM
Antelope Valley Hospital 1600 W. Ave J Lancaster CA 93534
NAMI Connection Support Group
Meets every 2nd and 4th Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at 7PM
44349 Lowtree Ave., Lancaster CA 93534
Family Member Arrested?
Support Your Relative
- If your family member/friend calls you and says that he/she has been arrested, help him/her stay calm and offer your help and support.
- If your family member/friend is being held in a city jail, remind him/her of the right to have an attorney present if being questioned by police officers or detectives.
- He/She will be screened for mental illness, as well as other health concerns, upon arrival. It is very important that they be direct and honest to benefit as much as possible from this screening process. Assure your family member that it is OK to discuss his/her physical and mental condition, diagnosis, medications, etc., with the staff conducting the screening, which includes Sheriff’s nursing staff and Jail Mental Health Service staff. It is important your family member feels safe to speak openly with the mental health screeners.
Criminal Justice Resources
The Consensus Project is a project of the Criminal Justice/Mental Health Information Network coordinated by the Council of State Governments Justice Center. It is an unprecedented, national effort to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
The landmark Consensus Project Report, which was written by Justice Center staff and representatives of leading criminal justice and mental health organizations, was released in June 2002. Since then, Justice Center staff working on the Consensus Project have supported the implementation of practical, flexible criminal justice/mental health strategies through on-site technical assistance; the dissemination of information about programs, research, and policy developments in the field; continued development of policy recommendations; and educational presentations.
Criminal Justice/Mental Health Information Network
The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Information Network (InfoNet) builds and expands on previous efforts to collect program information as a resource for policymakers, practitioners, and advocates working to improve outcomes when people with mental illnesses come into contact with the criminal justice system.
Evidenced-Based Practices: Shaping Mental Health Services Toward Recovery
The goal of Assertive Community Treatment is to help people stay out of the hospital and to develop skills for living in the community, so that their mental illness is not the driving force in their lives. Assertive community treatment offers services that are customized to the individual needs of the consumer, delivered by a team of practitioners, and available 24 hours a day. This link to the SAMHSA Evidenced-Based Practices page provides a number of documents that will help to implement an Assertive Community Treatment program.
Hiring A Lawyer
You may have a legal problem and not know how to resolve it. Lawyers have been specially trained in the law and our legal system. And the right lawyer can advise and assist you with your particular problem.
If you are facing criminal charges or a lawsuit, for example, a lawyer can help you understand your rights, and the strengths and weaknesses of your case. A lawyer knows the rules and procedures for arguing the case in court. And a lawyer can make a big difference in whether or not your side of the story is successfully presented to a judge or jury.
A lawyer can help you get a divorce, file for bankruptcy or draw up a will. Or, if you have been seriously injured or mistreated, a lawyer can help you file a lawsuit. Some lawyers handle a variety of legal problems; others specialize in certain areas of the law.
In some instances, failing to call a lawyer immediately can make the situation worse. If you are arrested or involved in a serious auto accident, for example, someone should interview the witnesses and gather evidence as soon as possible.
In other situations, preventive legal advice could save you time, trouble and money by preventing legal problems before they arise. Take, for example, the purchase of your family home or car. You might have a problem in the future if you sign the purchase agreement without completely understanding it. Or maybe you are launching a business with a partner. A lawyer could point out the advantages and drawbacks of various partnership arrangements.
These are just a few of the many situations in which lawyers can provide advice and assistance.
Legal Definitions are provided for public use and knowledge.
US Legal, Inc provides legal information in the form of Questions & Answers, Definitions, Articles, Blogs and Reporting on various subjects in the United States legal field. You can also find an attorney or buy legal forms for Pro Se representation. US Legal seeks to simplify and break down the barriers to legal information. Click here.
Nolo is the nation’s oldest and most respected provider of legal information for consumers and small businesses. This listing takes you to the Nolo glossary of legal terms.
Mental Health Courts
Mental health courts have spread rapidly across the country in the few years since their emergence. In the late 1990s only a handful of such courts were in operation; as of 2007, there were more than 175 in both large and small jurisdictions. The links on this page address a series of commonly asked questions about mental health courts. Click here.
National Institute Of Mental Health (NIMH)
NIMH Vision: NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured.
The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.
For the Institute to continue fulfilling this vital public health mission, it must foster innovative thinking and ensure that a full array of novel scientific perspectives are used to further discovery in the evolving science of brain, behavior, and experience. In this way, breakthroughs in science can become breakthroughs for all people with mental illnesses.
In support of this mission, NIMH will generate research and promote research training to fulfill the following four objectives:
- Promote discovery in the brain and behavioral sciences to fuel research on the causes of mental disorders
- Chart mental illness trajectories to determine when, where, and how to intervene
- Develop new and better interventions that incorporate the diverse needs and circumstances of people with mental illnesses
- Strengthen the public health impact of NIMH-supported research
To reach these goals, the NIMH divisions and programs are designed to emphasize translational research spanning bench, to bedside, to practice. For targeted priorities and funding initiatives, please visit our division websites.
SAMHSA Mental Health Dictionary
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) maintains an extensive dictionary of medical and mental health terms and definitions on their website. Click Here
Join the thousands of concerned citizens in over 85 communities across the nation will walk together to raise money and awareness to ensure vital, free NAMI programs and services are available to provide help and hope to those in need. Every journey begins with that first step. Through NAMIWalks’ public, active display of support for people affected by mental illness, we are changing our American communities and ensuring that help and hope are available for those in need.
Remember: You don’t have to walk to donate and support NAMI.
Become a NAMIWalks Hero. We are walking to raise awareness of mental illness and raise funds for the important work of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Please support our team by making a donation to a team member listed on our roster. Donations on this page are fast, secure and easy.
All funds raised directly support the mission of NAMI to provide support, education, and advocacy to individuals and families right here in our community.
Your support means a lot to me, our team, and the 43.8 million Americans who experience mental illness in a given year.