National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from NAMI North Carolina


*All programs offered by NAMI NC are FREE to participants

The Family-to-Family Education Program
The Family-to-Family Education Program is a Free 12 session course on mental illness that includes ways to understand the illness and how to help the person who has the illness. It also helps the family overcome the difficulties of living with severe mental illness.

The 12 week curriculum focuses on five major psychiatric illnesses (Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Major Depression, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, and Panic disorder).

This highly effective and widely praised education course developed by NAMI member Dr. Joyce Burland of Vermont has been attended by more than 3200 family members across North Carolina. An important aspect of the course is that it is taught by specially trained family members who have "been there".

For locations and starting dates of Family-to-Family courses click here.

For locations and starting dates for Family-to-Family Teacher Trainings click here.         

HALL of Fame- To be included in the NAMI North Carolina Hall of Fame for Family- to- Family teachers, individuals must teach five classes of Family- to -Family.  The following individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, with the year of their induction noted  click here.

In Our Own Voice (IOOV)
In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a Free, unique, informational outreach program developed by NAMI that offers insight into the recovery now possible for people with severe mental illness.

In Our Own Voice shows how people with serious mental illnesses cope with the realities of their disorders while recovering and reclaiming productive lives with meaning and dignity.  Additionally, the program provides a safe way for consumers to share the ups and downs of their recovery and learn from others.

For locations and starting dates of In Our Own Voice courses click here

For locations and starting dates of In Our Own Voice Presenters Training click here 

The Peer-to-Peer Education Program
The Peer-to-Peer Education Program is a Free 9 session course that is taught by a team of three trained “Mentors” who are personally experienced at living well with mental illness.

Mentors are trained in weekend-long training sessions, supplied with teaching manuals, and are paid a stipend for each course they teach.

Participants come away from the course with a binder of hand-out materials, as well as many other tangible resources: an advance directive; a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behavior, or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organize for intervention; mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking; and survival skills for working with providers and the general public.

For locations and starting dates of Peer-to-Peer courses click here.

For locations and starting dates of Peer-to-Peer Mentor Training click here.

The NAMI Support Groups
NAMI affiliates know that effective support groups are a key facet of NAMI’s grassroots organization.

The NAMI Support Group is Free. The Support Group model offers a set of key structures and group processes for facilitators to use in common support group scenarios. These structures come with clear guidelines to follow; used together, they encourage full group participation in support group meetings. The structures of the new model feel comfortable for both seasoned and less-experienced facilitators because they guide the support group along in every situation.

For locations and starting dates of Support Groups click here.

For locations and starting dates of Support Group Facilitators Training click here 

NAMI Connection

NAMI Connection is a Free recovery support group program for adults living with mental illness that is expanding in communities throughout the country. These groups provide a place that offers respect, understanding, encouragement, and hope.

NAMI Connection groups offer a casual and relaxed approach to sharing the challenges and successes of coping with mental illness. Each group is run by two trained facilitators, meets for 90 minutes a week, is offered free of charge, follows a flexible structure without an educational format, does not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies and are confidential - participants can share as much or as little personal information as they wish.

Connection facilitators must be adults living with a serious mental illness, currently in recovery, and they must have a good self-knowledge of their illness and their own recovery process. If you are interested in becoming a facilitator and are willing to offer a Connection Support Group in your community for at least a year, please contact Brenda Piper - 800-451-9682 or

Training dates are tentatively planned for February 2009 and June 2009. Each session will have a total of 30 participants.

For locations and starting dates of Connection groups click here.


The new NAMI BASICS program is a Free 6 week course for parents or direct caregivers of children who show symptoms of a mental illness before the age of 13 (no matter what age they are now). Development of this program was based on the success of other NAMI signature education programs for consumers and families available across the country.

This course teaches the parent that mental illness is a biological brain disorder and covers ADHD, ODD, CD, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia, OCD and Substance Use Disorders. Participants will also learn about available treatments, systems involved with your child, skills to use within the family to help improve communication, problem solving, handling challenging behavior, and a crisis preparation and relapse plan will be developed.

For locations and starting dates of NAMI BASIC courses click here  

For locations and starting dates of NAMI BASIC Teacher Trainings click here

 For more information about Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, IOOV, or NAMI Support Groups contact Brenda Piper, Program Director, at  1-800-451-9682 (NC only) or 919-788-0801.

For more information about NAMI BASICS contact Jennifer Rothman, Young Families Program Director, at 1-800-451-9682 (NC only) or 919-788-0801 or

Young Families  

Offers support for parents of children who have severe emotional disorders (SED) through the Young Family Network. This program also offers educational workshops and presentations by trained volunteers to parents and child-serving agency professionals to help them better understand the nature and treatment of serious emotional disorders and mental illness in children. If you are interested in a workshop, please see Empowering Workshops for more information. The Young Families Program also puts out a quarterly newsletter, Insights, to pass along news and information of special interest to young families.

For more information, contact Jennifer Rothman, Young Families Program Director (see contact information above) 

Life Plan Trust

Life Plan Trust Program is a non-profit organization started jointly by The Arc of North Carolina and NAMI North Carolina (formerly the North Carolina Alliance for the Mentally Ill) in 1990. Life Plan Trust works with families of individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness and other disabilities to help develop comprehensive plans for future care, and can serve as trustee for funds designated for your family member's benefit. Additional Sponsoring Organizations include the Autism Society of North Carolina, and Easter Seals UCP of North Carolina. Here is a brief progress report and answers to commonly asked questions about the Life Plan Trust program.