The NAMI Family to Family Education program is a 12 week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe brain disorders (mental illnesses). The course is taught by trained family member volunteers. This class and all materials are provided for free.
The curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), including the symptoms and common issues. Clinical treatment of these illnesses is discussed and participants are given the knowledge and skills needed for family members to cope more effectively.
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.
NAMI-Billings usually offers this class twice a year, fall and winter. Please call the office at 406-256-2001 for information or to be on the waiting list for the next class.
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 a woman with a psychiatric disability who has had a successful career as a mental health provider and manger and a longtime mutual support group member and facilitator.
- Peer-to-Peer consists of nine two-hour units and is taught by a team of three trained “mentors” who are personally experienced at living well with mental illness.
- Mentors are trained in weekend-long training sessions, supplied with teaching manuals, and are paid a stipend for each course they teach.
- Participants come away from the course with a binder of printed materials, as well as many other tangible resources: an advance directive; a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behaviors 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.
NAMI-Billings offers this class at least once a year. Please call the office at 406 256-2001 for information or to be on the waiting list for the next class.
NAMI Basics is a free, 6-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or whom have already been diagnosed. NAMI Basics is offered in a group setting so you can connect with other people face-to-face.
You’ll learn the facts about mental health conditions and how best to support your child at home, at school and when they’re getting medical care. Last year, 99% of participants told us they would recommend the program to other parents.
The course is taught by a trained team with lived experience—they know what you’re going through because they’ve been there. The 6-session program provides critical strategies for taking care of your child and learning the ropes of recovery.
What You’ll Gain
At NAMI Basics, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope. The group setting of NAMI Basics provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You also can help others with your own experience.
NAMI Basics covers:
- Managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively
- How to take care of yourself and handle stress
- Developing the confidence and stamina to support your child with compassion
- Advocating for your child’s rights at school and in health care settings
- Learning about current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects
- Gaining an overview of the public mental health care, school and juvenile justice systems and supporting resources to help you navigate these systems
- Understanding the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on your entire family
Interested in teaching one of these classes?
Presenter Training: Presenters are consumers (persons with mental illness or a family member) who are ready for the next step in advocacy and are willing to share their story. They are selected through application to NAMI-Billings.
A trainer from the NAMI national office provides a two-day course for presenters. During the training, presenters will practice telling their personal stories, develop facilitation skills, develop story points that will be relevant and meaningful to specific audiences, and develop a professional presentation that they could take to their communities.