National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) is one of the largest
nonprofit organizations in the United States, with self-help,
support, and advocacy groups in every state, including Puerto Rico.
Created in 1979, NAMI is completely dedicated to the elimination of
all mental illness, as well as to the improvement of living
standards for caregivers and persons affected by these diseases.
NAMI offers important advice and help for those with some of the
most difficult of disorders, such as: schizophrenia;
schizoaffective disorder; bipolar disorder; major depressive
disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder; panic and other anxiety
disorders; autism and pervasive developmental disorders; attention
deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and other severe, persistent mental
illnesses affecting the brain.
over 15 million Americans living with severe mental illness, NAMI’s
work has only just begun, making sure that the local affiliates and
state organizations help to identify and work on the most important
mental health issues for their particular state or community.
Through careful governing, compassion and cultivation from the
experiences of family caregivers and those suffering from mental
illness, a wide-range of educational and training programs have been
created in order to service anyone who has a mental illness.
The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free, 12-week
course for family caregivers of individuals with severe brain
disorders (mental illnesses). The course is taught by trained family
members. All instruction and course materials are free for class
participants. The course discusses the clinical treatment of these
illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members
need in order to cope more effectively. Family-to-Family classes are
offered in hundreds of communities across the country, in two
Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Peer-to-Peer is a unique, educational program for people with
serious mental illness interested in establishing and maintaining
their wellness and recovery. Peer-to-Peer consists of nine, two-hour
courses taught by a team of three trained “mentors” who are
personally experienced at successfully living with mental illness.
The mentors are educated in weekend-long training sessions, then
they are given teaching manuals, along with a paid stipend for each
course they teach.
attendees are provided with a binder of hand-out materials, as well
as useful and important resources: an advanced plan and directive
for the future; a relapse prevention plan which helps to identify
the feelings, thoughts, behavior or events that may be the early
warning signs of an impending relapse; how to organize for an
intervention; mental and emotional exercises that help keep an
individual focused and thinking calmly and clearly; and coping
skills for how to work with providers and the general public.
new program concentrates on the health risks associated with mental
illness. The purpose of the program is to raise awareness and
provide information regarding: diabetes; diet; exercise; smoking;
and substance abuse. Along with basic information about addictions,
recovery, stigma and treatment, they also offer information on
diabetes and sleep apnea, and tips for a healthy diet, including a
shopping list template, recipes, and a food diary. Type ll Diabetes
has become a particular concern, since research has begun to
question the link between some psychiatric medications and the
2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Member Services: (800)
to our weekly e-newsletter