National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from NAMI Putnam County
Family-to-Family Education Program
You are Not Alone
The NAMI Putnam Family-to-Family Education Program is a free 12-week course taught by trained NAMI members who have lived the experience of dealing with family or friend that has a mental illness. Classes are structured to help caregivers understand and support individuals that have been diagnosed with brain disorders such as schizophrenia, schizo-effective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress syndrome, and borderline personality disorder. Participants have indicated that they have gained a better understanding of mental illness and how to best advocate for their loved one. Many have described the course as life-changing.
Family-to-Family provides caregivers with communication and problem-solving techniques, coping mechanisms and the self-care skills needed to deal with their loved one's mental illness as well as its impact on the family.
In addition, many found being with others who are struggling with the same issues gave them great support, insight and helped one to realize that, "You are not Alone".
Why is Family-to-Family Unique?
The course provides insights into, and resolution of, the profound concerns experienced by families, close relatives and friends as they strive to cope with the realities of serious mental illness. Caregivers not only learn a wide range of information about serious mental illness they also learn to understand how living with these conditions affects their loved one.
The course teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively.
NAMI Family-to-Family education program is taught in 49 states, two provinces in Canada, Mexico and in Italy. It has touched the lives of more than 200,000 participants. The curriculum has been translated into Spanish.
"The course gave me hope that it will be okay, that I am not alone and reduced a lot of shame, guilt and hopelessness. I see my wife now as someone who is ill and not as someone having a character flaw. The course helped me educate my children about their mother's illness and increased my compassion for my wife and others who have mental illness."