The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe brain disorders (mental illnesses). The course is taught by trained family members. All instruction and course materials are free for class participants. The Family-to-Family curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression), clinical depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The course discusses the clinical treatment of these illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively.
In Cheyenne, 100+ family members have already participated in previous classes. Family members offered the following comments at the completion of one of the classes:
- "The course has been exceptionally well done. I have also benefited from being able to talk with other people who are going through the same things as me."
- "I learned I was not alone and that others survive having a mentally ill family member. The coping techniques and support of the instructors are very valuable. I understand more of what to expect from everyone (daughter, doctors, myself) to make successful recovery happen."
- "I have developed a better understanding of symptoms of the disorder, the stigma felt by society, my son's burden of living with his mental illness, and hopefully developed ways to support him toward a normal life as much as possible."
Unfortunately, no Family-to-Family education programs are currently scheduled.