You can reach the NAMI Pinellas Helpline by telephoning (727) 791-3434.
What Does NAMI Pinellas Offer to Families of Persons with a Mental Illness?
NAMI Pinellas has many resources available for families, friends, and caregivers of persons with mental illnesses.........
At our Family Support Group meetings we share our experiences.
You will recognize the similarities, and appreciate hearing how others have dealt with their dilemmas.
At our Family Education Meetings Invited Guest Speakers expound on various topics from both within and surrounding Mental Health.
These include: Diagnosis, Treatment, Follow-up Care Programs, The Baker Act, and the Legal Process.
FAMILY to FAMILY COURSES
NEW PROGRAM STARTS FALL 2010
Our Family-to-Family class is a 12-week education program designed to teach persons about the symptoms of mental illness, psychiatric medications, treatment options, communication skills, and coping mechanisms especially for families. NAMI Pinellas typically offers the Family-to-Family class twice a year.
Resources for Family Members and Friends
What is a Mental Health Advance Directive and Healthcare Surrogate?
If you believe you or a family member may be hospitalized for mental healthcare in the future, the completion of a psychiatric or mental health advance directive will help make your or your family member’s treatment preferences known. The healthcare surrogate form will help facilitate communications between families and healthcare providers.
For questions about the mental health advance directive or healthcare surrogates, please contact the NAMI Pinellas Helpline at (727) 791-3434.
What Families Need to Know About Psychiatric Advance Directives
Suggested form of a Health Care Surrogate, Florida Statutes Section 765.203 Designation of Health Care Surrogate
Mental Health Advance Directive Learn More
Why Doesn't My Family Member Understand That They Are Ill?
Anosognosia is a big word that refers to a condition that frequently occurs with a diagnosis of mental illness. With anosognosia, there is a lack of insight into many of the behaviors and symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This is very different from denial and even mental health providers sometimes mistake anosognosia for a stubborn refusal to accept treatment.
While there is a growing body of information and research in regards to anosognosia, there is currently no cure. However, family members and friends can learn to work with their loved ones to help increase medication compliance and treatment adherence.
Dr. Xavier Amador is an expert in the field of anosognosia. You may want to check out his book I’m Not Sick. I Don’t Need Help from the NAMI Pinellas library and you can view a speech he made about the problem of "Lack of Insight" here..........
Where Can I Go to Learn About Psychiatric Medications?
Your first source for information about psychiatric medications should be your medical doctor or your ARNP. You may also want to speak with your local pharmacist if you have questions.
There are many different types of medications that help to treat the symptoms of mental illness. It’s important to remember that no medication works the exact same way with everyone. This is why it’s very important to stay in touch with your physician or ARNP and to let them know immediately if you or a loved one are experiencing any distressing side-effects.
There are a number of medication resources on the internet. A good place to start is the National Institute of Mental Health.
Remember though that your doctor is going to be your best resource for accurate and up-to-date information about medications.
What is the Baker Act?
The Baker Act refers to the Florida Mental Health Act—a law that governs the involuntary examination if a person may be a serious danger to themselves or others. This may also apply to persons who are likely to suffer from neglect or harm if a current behavior continues.
Persons with the authority to initiate a Baker Act include law enforcement officers, physicians, licensed clinical psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and licensed clinical social workers. An Ex Parte Order from the court is also a way of helping to get persons the help they need.
If you have any questions regarding Baker Act facilities in Pinellas County or the rights of patients and families you are encouraged to telephone our Help Line at (727) 791-3434.
Florida Baker Act........