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updated: 1/21/2014 6:14 PM

Mental health group offers Family-to-Family class

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Submitted by NAMI Barrington
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will be offering two sections of its well-regarded, evidence-based class, Family-to-Family. This class is designed to help participants understand and support individuals with mental illness while maintaining their own well-being. The class is free and meets once a week for 12 weeks, beginning in February.

Family-to-Family is for family members, partners, and friends of individuals with major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as sometimes co-occurring addictive disorders.

The class uses a curriculum developed by the professional staff at NAMI's national offices, and is taught by volunteers, who have successfully completed NAMI's teacher training program and have a family member with mental illness themselves. Recent studies have shown the class to be very effective in helping families cope with the mental illness of their family member.

"This course is a wonderful experience," said one student. "It balances basic education and skills training with emotional support, self-care and empowerment".

Topics include current research in the biology of brain disorders, medications and strategies for handling crisis and relapse. There will be special workshops in problem solving, listening, and communication techniques, as well as gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness.

There will be two sections of classes. One will be held in Barrington and the other at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. There is no cost to participate in the program, but registration is required as class size is limited.

For information about this class or other education and support groups offered by NAMI Barrington, call Maryrose at (847) 496-1415.

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