One of NAMI's education and support endeavors include the "Family to Family" education course. This is, in fact, a family-to-family program that is usually provided free of charge. In an intensive weekend training, family members are trained as teachers and facilitators to provide both education and support to other families. The educational component consists of a 12-week course. Teams of two members cover the following areas regarding serious mental illness:
• Learning about feelings, learning about facts
• Introduction to schizophrenia (e.g., diagnosis, crucial periods, etc.)
• Introduction to depression
• Basics about the brain
• Problem-solving skills workshop
• Medication review
• "What Is It Like to Be Mentally Ill?" empathy workshop
• Relative groups and self-care
• Communication skills
• Advocacy (fighting stigma)
• Certification and celebration.
NAMI has also implemented a provider education program with family members and consumers educating helping professionals about the family perspective and experience. In addition, they offer "In Our Own Voice," a presentation by consumers that creates awareness about what is involved in recovery from mental illness. Thus, NAMI offers a broad array of education programs including Family-to-Family, a provider education program, as well as a peer-to-peer education program. Other state and local educational programs are also offered by trained family and consumer teachers to help inform and support other families, consumers, and professionals.
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