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Free Class: Family Members or Close Friends With An Mental Illness.

Often times it can feel confusing as to how to best assist and support someone you love and or care about who has a mental health matter. It can be costly as to how to ‘deal with’ these friends and family members. It can cost us emotionally, in terms of our time and energy, and in some situations even financially too, as one works to finding out the best way to help. I am happy to report that there is a free opportunity to get good information on this matter.

There is a free class offered by NAMI to help support family members and close friends who have a member with a mental illness. This class has been described as ‘life changing’. In that it is a great resource for information and support, as one navigates the challenges of being in relationship with someone with a mental health problem(s).

NAMI, stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. They have hundreds of affiliate offices all throughout the US, and work with state organizations and volunteers who work in communities to raise awareness and provide support and education.

There are 2 NAMI affiliate offices I have worked with (Multnomah and Clackamas county). NAMI has come to some of my classes, and presented their panel & media production of "In Our Own Voice". The purpose of inviting NAMI to my psychology classes at PSU was to educate on the subject of Mental Illness, and to demonstrate that people with mental health issues are distinct individuals whose lives have been interrupted by an illness (that can vary greatly from one person to another both in character and in degree). In addition, there is a huge stigma on mental health illness which has contributed to misinformation and negative stereotypes. NAMI presents a message of hope, in which early diagnosis and treatment is essential for successful outcomes.

The upcoming Family-to-Family Class will be taught by NAMI trained professionals who will follow evidence based curriculum. The class will be held in a confidential setting. The goals of the course will support students to:

  • Gain understanding regarding how mental illness affects adult loved ones. The illnesses covered will include, major depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

  • Learn about neurological brain research as related to mental illness

  • Become more knowledgeable about medications and treatment options

  • Increase communication and problem-solving skills

  • Increasing self-care and managing stress

The class meets once a week for 12 weeks, on Saturdays from 10am-12:30 in NE Portland, from January 13th- March 31st.

The class fills up quickly so one must register to reserve a space. The phone number to call to sign-up is (503)228-5692. The location of the class in NE Portland will be given after one completes the registration.

Get informed and support.

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