NAMI Stamford/Greenwich sponsors community support groups, educational classes, and events, all of which are free of charge and open to the public.
Family to Family –NAMI's well-regarded Family-to-Family educational program is held for 12 weeks. The weekly sessions offer support and education to family members of individuals with mental illness. The course is free and is taught by family members who have received special training to teach the course. Watch for fall 2013 dates. Here are some of the questions the course provides answers to:
What are the major mental illnesses and how can I get a clear diagnosis for my relative? The course provides current information, including diagnostic criteria, for schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring addictive disorders.
What are the best treatments now available for my relative? The course presents current research related to the biology of brain disorders and the evidence-based, most effective treatments to promote recovery.
What are all these medications for? The course provides up-to-date information about medications, side effects, and strategies for medication adherence.
How can my relative and I communicate better? The course teaches empathy through understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness, and includes special workshops for problem solving, listening, and communication techniques.
What do I do if there is a crisis? The course teaches strategies for handling crises and relapse.
What local services in my community am I missing out on? The course provides guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community and information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services.
How do I take care of myself in all of this? The course includes a focus on care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress and emotional overload.
If you are a caregiver for someone with a mental illness, we highly recommend this course.
NAMI-Basics - This free six-session course provides the the fundamentals of caring for you, your family and your child with mental illness. The course consists of six classes, each lasting for 2 ½ hours. Classes are usually offered weekly for six consecutive weeks. All instruction materials are FREE to participants. Join other parents and caregivers for this course thaught by trained NAMI-CT family members who have lived with this experience. Watch for fall 2013 dates.
The classes cover the folowing:
Introduction to the stages of emotional reactions of the family to the of mental illness; including crisis, shock, denial, grief and acceptance.
Insights into understanding of the lived experience of the child living with the mental illness, including learning to separate the child you love from the illness that alters their behavior and abilities.
Current information about Attention Deficit Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorders.
Current research related to the biology of mental illness and the evidence-based, most effective treatment strategies available, including medications used to treat mental illness in children and adolescents.
Specific workshops to learn problem solving, listening and communication skills.
Examples of strategies that have been found helpful in handling challenging behaviors in children and adolescents.
Information about the systems that are major players in the lives of children and adolescents with mental illness – the school system and the mental health system.
Exposure to personal record keeping systems that have proven to be effective for parents/caregivers in their interactions with the school and healthcare systems.
Information on planning for crisis management and relapse.
Information on locating appropriate supports and services within the community to build a community of support for the parent/caregiver.
Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services, with an emphasis on personal advocates for the parent/caregiver and child on an individual level.
Speaker Meetings - Meetings are held throughout the year addressing various topics. All speaker meetings are free and open to the public.
Friends and Family – support meetings for friends and family members of individuals with mental illness. Click on the "Support Groups" tab at left for full details and directions to the support groups listed below.
First Tuesday of the Month, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, CP2 Conference Room, Norwalk Hospital, 34 Maple Street, Norwalk, CT.
First Wednesday of the Month, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, Conference Room B, Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court, Stamford, CT.
Second Tuesday of the Month, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, Group Room 1, Jurgenson Building, Silver Hill Hospital, 208 Valley Rd., New Canaan, CT.
Third Thursday of the Month, 7:00 to 8:00 pm, Cafeteria Conference Room (Lower Level), Greenwich Hospital, 5 Perryridge Road, Greenwich, CT.
Last Tuesday of the Month, 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the Board Room, lower level across from the elevator (new room location), St. Vincent’s (Hall-Brooke) Behavioral Health Services, 47 Long Lots Road, Westport.
Support in Spanish – Contact Evelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAMI-CAN Child and Adolescent Network Support Group - A support group for parents and primary caregivers of children with behavioral and emotional issues.
The 2nd Tuesday of every month, 10:00 -11:30 am, Conference Room B, Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court, Stamford, CT. For more information, contact Dawn at (203) 249-5935 or Lorraine at (203) 858-1477.
Directions (Word Document)