Research on NAMI Programs

NAMI National programs and presentations are developed by experienced professionals using the best available scientific and clinical information and teaching models. Many of our programs and presentations have been offered for decades in communities across the country. 

NAMI actively works with researchers to conduct studies on our programs and presentations to measure their effectiveness. Based on the results of these studies, we can designate a program as an Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). On this page, you can find results from these studies as well as information about ongoing studies of our programs. 

If you are interested in conducting a research study on one of NAMI’s programs or presentations, please fill out this interest form and submit it, along with supplementary documentation, to [email protected].  

NAMI’s Evidence-Based Programs   

A NAMI program or presentation is designated as an Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) when it has been studied by an external researcher and the results of the study are published in a peer-reviewed journal. Six of NAMI’s programs are currently designated as EBPs. 

NAMI Basics, our education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents with mental health conditions, was shown to support improvement in self-care, empowerment and family communication in an evaluation of the program. An additional study, a randomized clinical effectiveness trial led by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, demonstrated that NAMI Basics improved parent and caregiver activation and engagement, in addition to decreasing their children’s symptoms. 

NAMI Ending the Silence, our presentation for middle and high school students, was shown to improve student knowledge and attitudes about mental health conditions in a study conducted by Dr. Otto Wahl of the University of Hartford in 2018. A further study by Joseph DeLuca at CUNY showed significant improvement in student knowledge and a reduction in negative stereotypes, as well as an increased willingness to seek help for mental health concerns.  

NAMI Family-to-Family is a class for families, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. A control group study led by the University of Maryland’s Dr. Lisa Dixon and Dr. Alicia Lucksted found that family members who completed the program demonstrated improvements in coping skills, problem-solving skills and feelings of empowerment. 

NAMI Homefront is an education program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions. The program is based on NAMI Family-to-Family and may be delivered in person or online. A study led by Morgan Haselden and Dr. Lisa Dixon found that both in-person and online versions of NAMI Homefront are effective in improving participants’ knowledge and coping skills, as well as reducing the psychological distress that accompanies caregiving. 

NAMI In Our Own Voice, a presentation for any audience, uses stories of lived experience to promote awareness of mental illness and the possibility of recovery. A study published in 2019 led by Dr. Otto Wahl concluded that NAMI’s In Our Own Voice presentation demonstrably improved participants’ understanding of mental health conditions. 

NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free, eight-session educational program for adults with mental health conditions who are looking to better understand themselves and their recovery; this program is taught by trained leaders with lived experience. A study led by Dr. Kristin Kosyluk showed that NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer program decreased stigma regarding mental health conditions and improved recovery outcomes for participants. The related research article is currently in press with the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  

Research In Progress 

NAMI Provider is a class for health care professionals and students designed to expand participants' compassion for people with mental health conditions and their families and promote a collaborative model of care. In 2020, Dr. Jeritt Tucker published results of a study on the pilot offering of NAMI Provider for third-year medical students. The results showed significant improvement in attitudes toward the field of psychiatry and intention to deliver compassionate treatment during acute psychiatric emergencies.