Below are links to information for our education program and support groups, as well as Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for police officers. We have recently added "NAMI Night" every second Tuesday that includes an hour of education by an expert in their area; immediately followed by a support group for anyone who would like to join us. You may call or write our facilitators if you would like additional information about any of these activities.
Our Featured Program: Family 2 Family
Where truth, support, and hope began: NAMI's Family-to-Family Course
Now: Ben made the Dean's List again! The letter from our local community college confirms his status and adds, "It is a a very worthwhile accomplishment to have become one of our best students." For the first time in over a decade, Ben actually cares about his grades; there was a time he considered report cards a government plot to control him. Ten years ago, he was a high school dropout, refusing to discuss his future plans, wandering through our town streets because he "didn't like the stupid rules at home." Sometimes, then, he slept in the park. My son, homeless and hopeless. His family: confused, devastated, always at our wits' end.
Recovery takes time - and a lot more. So as we take this journey, I continue to teach (and train others to teach) a course for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) called Family-to-Family. This program - one of many offered by NAMI -saved our family by teaching me about mental illness and giving me the skills to deal with our new reality.
It was there that I learned the devastating truth that was necessary for the start of recovery: Ben truly did have a serious, and severe, mental illness. He was not "stubborn", or "going through a tough adolesence" - he was ill, and it wasn't his fault. What did that mean for us? For him? By opening my eyes to the facts, this course opened my mind to solutions.
I am forever grateful to Dr. Joyce Burland, who created the 12-week class, and to everyone at NAMI who continue to help bring it to families like ours. For free. Still, so many families don't even know what it is. I urge you to find out. Visit http://www.nami.org/ and find a wealth of free information, and a link to your local affiliate. Click on "education" and there you are.
Find NAMI. It's something you can do for yourself - -RK
Excerpt from No Casseroles for Schizophrenia: Family Lessons on the Journey to Acceptance and Hope: December2003 (for info on literary representation or publication, contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
For information on Family 2 Family see below. Another class will be forming soon. For more information, please go to the contact list on this page.
Program Contacts (Word Document)
Family To Family Education Program
NAMI Recovery Support
Family Support Group