NAMI North Carolina North Carolina
   Teacher Trainings
   Family to Family Schedules
   Support Group Schedules
   Connection Support Groups
   Board of Directors
   Contact US
   In the News
   Cookbooks for Programs

Sacred Creations After finding a church that understood mental health, AJ French finally received the treatment and support she needed.
YANA: With Help, Things Can Change For The Better.
What We Can Do about Depression
NAMI Statement by Mary Giliberti: Reflecting on the Passing of Robin Williams
-more at
stars graphic


 | Print this page | 


Young Families Program at NAMI NC

Young Families offers support for parents and/or direct caregivers of children who have severe emotional disorders (SED) through the Young Family Network. This program also offers educational workshops and presentations by trained volunteers to parents and child-serving agency professionals to help them better understand the nature and treatment of serious emotional disorders and mental illness in children. If you are interested in a workshop, please see Empowering Workshops for more information. The Young Families Program also puts out a quarterly newsletterInsights, to pass along news and information of special interest to young families.

Young Families Support Groups

The following are support groups for parents of children who are living with mental illness which are led by parents who have lived and are living with these same experiences. Find a support group near you:

                                                                                                                                       Guilford County                                

Tristan's Quest Support Group
Held the last Tuesday of each month 
Place: Tristan's Quest, Inc. - 115-A S. Walnut Circle, Greensboro
Contact:  Dr. Jean Allen - 336-547-7460
    Henderson County 
Parent Support: fourth Wednesday of each month
Teen Support: second Saturday of each month 
Parent Support Place: Denny's in Hendersonville
Teen Support Place: Call for details
Contact:  Donna Reilly - 828-684-5477

Lee and Harnett Counties

First Wednesday of the month
Place: Harnett County Library
Contact:  Linda Swann - 877-776-6702
Moore and Hoke Counties
Hoke: Third Tuesday of the month
Moore: Second Tuesday of the month
Hoke Place: Edinborough Restaurant, 224 S. Main St., Raeford NC
Moore Place: NC Mentor, 241 Grant St., West End, NC
Contact:  Anita Herron at 877-776-6599 (toll free)
Wake County Parent Support
Meets monthly
Raleigh, NC
Please contact Chary Sundstrom for dates and times since they change monthly according to leader schedules

* * * If you are interested in starting a young families support group in your area, please contact Jennifer Rothman at or   800-451-9682 for more information.                                   

Other Support Groups for Families

Sandhills Center and Connections Family Support Program (Montgomery
First Wednesday of each month during the school year
Cornerstone Baptist Church - 303 Lambert Rd. in Biscoe
Contact/Register (free): Vickie Wilson at 866-348-2769 in order to plan for food
Sandhills Center and Connections with MHA in NC (Rockingham)
First Monday of each month
For parents of school aged children with behavioral or emotional challenges
First United Methodist Church - 410E. Washington St. (across from Leath Memorial Library)
Contact/Register (free): Adrian Lovelace at 866-916-1493 (to help plan for food and resources)
Mecklenburg County CHADD
Second Monday of the Month
(September-November and January-May)
Coca-Cola Building - 4100 Coca-Cola Plaza, Charlotte NC
Click Here for more information
Parents whose children have bipolar or mood disorders
For details call 704-525-8787 or email
Mecklenburg County
A group for parents of youth with significant behavioral issues, emotional problems or mental health problems
For details call 704-336-7128
Mecklenburg County
Family Advocacy Network (FAN) Parent Support Group
Second Tuesday of the month
Conference room of the Mental Health Association - 302 W. Weaver St., Carrboro NC
Meetings are geared toward emotional support
For more info: 919-942-8083 or
Family Advocacy Network (FAN) "Meet the Experts" Support & Educational Series
Fourth Saturday of each month
Orange United Methodist Church - 1220 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill
For parents of school aged children who have emotional and behavioral challenges or other mental health issues
For more info: 919-942-8083 or
Family Support Network of ENC Parent Resource & Support Group in Wilson County
First Thursday of every month
Wilson Medical Center
Contact Mary Brown at 252-290-0862 for more information
Greensboro ADHD Parent Support Group
Every other moth from September to May
Trinity Church - 5200 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro NC
Visit their website for more information

                                                                     NAMI BASICS PROGRAM                                                                             

NAMI Basics is a FREE 6 week education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses.  Development of this program was based on the success of other NAMI signature education programs for consumers and families available across the country.  NAMI drew on course elements which have been extensively tested and found to be highly effective in the field.  These elements include: 

  • recognition of mental illness as a continuing traumatic event for the child and the family;
  • sensitivity to the subjective emotional issues faced by family caregivers and well children in the family;
  • recognition of the need to help ameliorate the day-to-day objective burdens of care and management;
  • gaining confidence and stamina for what can be a life-long role of family understanding and support; and
  • empowerment of family caregivers as effective advocates for their children.

If you are interested in taking the NAMI BASICS class, want to become a NAMI BASICS teacher, or just want more information on the NAMI BASICS program, please contact Jennifer Rothman at or call 800-451-9682. You can also visit

Childhood Mental Illness

Depending on what criteria for severity are used in diagnosing children with mental illness, anywhere from 6 to 12 percent of children have mental illness with half of all cases beginning before the age of 14. Many adults with severe mental illness report onset of symptoms of their illness between ages 5 and 9.

Childhood and adolescent mental illnesses include:

  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Clinical Depression
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
    • Early treatment of the major psychiatric disorders can lessen the severity of recurrence over a lifetime.
    • Pediatricians miss 83% of children with psychiatric diagnoses.
    • 3 million children have a mental illness diagnosis in a one year period.
    • 1.4 million of these children receive care in mental health organizations.
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorders, including Autism affect 1 to 1.5 of 1000 children.

    For brief descriptions of these and other diagnoses taken from 
    DSM IV click here. 

In the News

The following updates and articles are from different organizations that relate to children and adolescents. Please check back regularly for new postings.

Families USA: The Voice for Health Care Consumers releases report "Left Behind: America's Uninsured Children"

Thorough 160-page document from the National Center for Children in Poverty, School of Public Health, Columbia University - "Unclaimed Children Revisited: The Status of Children's Mental Health Policy in the United States"

New Report Looks at Improving Access to Health Coverage for Transitional Youth: A new paper published by NASHP describes ways for states to better enroll and keep youth in the juvenile justice and foster care systems in Medicaid and SCHIP, and thus help encourage improved health and development in this vulnerable population estimated at between 2 and 2.5 million. Click Here for the full report.

Portland Data Trends on Children's Perspectives of Their Mental Health Services: This literature review attempted to summarize research examining foster children's perspectives of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Given the dearth of information on tis topic, the authors instead reviewed the literature on children's and youth's perspectives of mental health services. Click here for more information.

New School Mental Health Resource: The Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA has made a new resource available to download, “Mental Health in School and School Improvement: Current Status, Concerns and New Directions.” This book-length resource to help create a school environment that promotes mental health and reduces problems is available online at no cost. Click Here to Download.  

Neurofeedback-An Effective Alternative Treatment for AD/HD?: While the most recent follow-up study to the major NIMH-funded "Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA)" continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of both medication and behavioral modification working together as part of a multi-modal treatment plan, there continues to be a number of alternative treatments put forth with the claim that they can effectively treat the symptoms of AD/HD. Click Here for the full story from NRC NEWS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

New Addiction on Campus: Raiding the Medicine Cabinet: Parents have long worried whether their kids at college are drinking too much or getting stoned. But alcohol and marijuana aren't the only substances they should be concerned about: In recent years, a growing number of young people have begun abusing prescription opiates. Click Here for the full story from The Wall Street Journal.

New National Survey on Drug use and Health (NSDUH) Report on Nonmedical Stimulant Use: In 2006, 2 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (an estimated 510,000 persons) used stimulants nonmedically in the past year, a rate twice as high as that observed among adults aged 26 or older. To learn more about the report click here.

Report Examines youth Who Age Out of Foster Care: Every year some 20,000 young people across the U.S. age out of the foster care system, but little is known about the challenges and opportunities these young people face as they transition into independence and adult life. To learn more about the report and download the full report click here.

Action For Children: Program Aims to Lift, Engage Youth (Greensboro News & Record): N.C A&T, GTCC and Guilford County school leaders announced they will form a partnership to help schoolchildren and their parents. This program, named The Cosby Kids program, will provide mentors to 360 children in fourth, sixth and eighth grades and tutor the students in reading, math and science. Read more here.

Child Trends Research on Parent-Child Relationships Featured in USA Today: New Child Trends research on the relationship between parents and young adult children is featured in a February 7 USA Today article.

rtcUpdates for January 2008: Prescriptions written for children with mental health conditions are at an all-time high. Yet, the effects of these FDA-approved drugs on children are not well understood. A recent Frontline episode, “The Medicated Child,” explores the possible risks and benefits of prescribing such drugs to children. Link to the episode from our discussion page and then weigh in with your own thoughts.

ASCD Smartbrief: Parents Blame Bullying for MO Fifth Graders Suicide: Kim Myers blames her 12-year-old son Brandon's elementary school for failing to stop bullying related to his speech impediment, ADHD and depression that she says led to her son's suicide. According to this article, school officials questioned by parents at a school board meeting about the case said they followed school policy, but Myers believes educators missed cues that Brandon had grown increasingly desperate and was contemplating suicide. Click Here for full article.

NIMH Updates: Scientists Can Predict Psychotic Illness in up to 80 Percent of High-Risk Youth: Youth who are going to develop psychosis can be identified before their illness becomes full-blown 35 percent of the time if they meet widely accepted criteria for risk, but that figure rises to 65 to 80 percent if they have certain combinations of risk factors, the largest study of its kind has shown.  Knowing what these combinations are can help scientists predict who is likely to develop the illnesses within two to three years with the same accuracy that other kinds of risk factors can predict major medical diseases, such as diabetes. Click Here for full article.

LD Online: About Reading Disabilities, Learning Disabilities and Reading Difficulties: Many kids struggle with reading. One estimate is that about 10 million children have difficulties learning to read. The good news is that 90 to 95 percent of reading impaired children can overcome their difficulties if they receive appropriate treatment at early ages. Click Here for full article.

Web Links

Studies in the News-California Department of Mental Health                                                                                                                                                                                              

Out of the Silence - An advocacy network for youth and young adult mental health. Targeted specifically towards middle school, high school and college-aged youth. It is a web based initiative designed to provide an outlet for creative expression of emotions through artwork and writing. It also fosters a sense of community that is fundamental to the success of its audience. Web address:

NC Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families - The North Carolina State Collaborative for Children and Families, through a System of Care framework, provides a forum for collaboration, advocacy and action among families, public and private child and family serving agencies and community partners to improve outcomes for all children, youth and families. Web address:

Exceptional Children's Assistance Center (ECAC)- ECAC is a private non-profit parent organization committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children through a special emphasis on children with disabilities. Web address:

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law
The Wrightslaw web site is designed for families, advocates, educators, and attorneys looking for accurate, up-to-date information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities, including those with mental illnesses.
Web address:

NC Families United Children/youth with serious emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges and their families will have a person centered, family driven System of Care to ensure their independence, safety, happiness and success in their homes, school and community. Web address:

LD Online-LD Online is the world's leading web site on learning disabilities and ADHD, serving more than 200,000 parents, teachers, and other professionals each month. Web address:

National Insititute of Mental Health (NIMH)-The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health. Web address:

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)-The nation's leading non-profit organization serving individuals with AD/HD and their families. CHADD has over 16,000 members in 200 local chapters throughout the U.S. Chapters offer support for individuals, parents, teachers, professionals, and others. Web address:

NC Mental Hope-North Carolina Mental Hope's mission is to increase public awareness and support of mental health and to decrease stigma surrounding mental illness. Web address:

Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)
Children, Adolescents and Family Resources. Web address:

Mental Health Association of NC (MHA-NC)- Mission is to promote mental health, prevent mental disorders, and eliminate discrimation against people with mental disorders. They accomplish these goals through advocacy, education, service and research. Web address:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMS administers the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) programs. Web address:

All Kinds of Minds-All Kinds of Minds is a non-profit Institute that helps students who struggle with learning measurably improve their success in school and life by providing programs that integrate educational, scientific, and clinical expertise. Web address:

Autism Speaks- Dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals. Web address:





 | Print this page |