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NAMI Family to Family



10/19/24 - 10/20/24


What am I applying to lead?

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session education program for family, partners, friends and significant others of adults living with mental illness. The course is designed to help all family members understand and support their loved one living with mental illness, while maintaining their own well-being. The course includes information on illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health conditions. Thousands of families describe the program as life-changing. The program is taught by trained teachers who are also family members and know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness.

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Next Steps:

  1. Your local affiliate will reach out to interview you over the phone or on Zoom.

  2. You will complete a 6-8 hour online training by NAMI (national).

  3. You will then be interviewed by the trainer over Zoom.

  4. If you are accepted for training, you will be sent a binder of training materials.

  5. On the day of, you will log into your Zoom training!

What will I learn from the training?

  • Participants will learn the necessary skills to conduct a rigorous and effective 12-week course in your community. Topics covered in the training include critical information and strategies related to care giving, incorporating presentations, discussions and exercises. This helps provide the necessary tools for a better understanding of the individual living with mental illness. This class uses a guided group process to help families gain practical insight, obtain important information about research and resiliency along with increasing their emotional learning skills.

Family-to-Family Teacher Requirements

  • To be a successful NAMI Family-to-Family teacher, you need to respond to others in a non-judgmental way, you need to be a good listener with an empathetic ear, and you need to be willing to talk about your experience as a family member of someone living with a mental illness.

  • Trainees must have attended and completed a Family-to-Family class as a participant. Trainees agree to attend the entire class. Trainees must demonstrate the qualifications needed to become a good NAMI teacher by the end of training. Trainees may be asked to improve their skills in particular key areas and repeat the training before they may become certified. All applicants will participate in a phone screening interview with the class leaders prior to being accepted into the class. Minimum age to become a Family-to-Family teacher is 18 years old.

  • What is required of me after I take the training?

  • By taking this teacher training you are committed to co-teaching the Family-to-Family class, consisting of 12 weeks of material, at least twice in a 24-month period in cooperation with your local NAMI affiliate.

  • You will need to register and interview all prospective students before the class. Each weekly class requires a lot of pre-class preparation. In some affiliates, the teacher also needs to find a location for the classes and take care of advertising and publicity. You will be required to send periodic reports to State and National for their recordkeeping and upload data into the National NAMI Education Data tracking program. The classes involve reading aloud from NAMI course materials, so applicants need to be comfortable with this.

Who can lead the course?

Any adult (18+) who has or had a family member with a mental health condition may apply to become a program leader. All potential leaders are screened to determine whether the opportunity is a good fit for them and for the organization. NAMI Family-to-Family program leaders attend an intensive training to become certified and must be members of NAMI.
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