How Can NAMI’s Local Programs Help You?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nation-wide, non-profit organization that assists individuals and families touched by the challenges of mental illness. NAMI Washington has 22 independent NAMI Affiliates, so there is probably one near you. Each affiliate offers a mix of services at no-cost to meet local needs.

NAMI Washington offers the intensive trainings for Affiliate members to become the Teachers, Facilitators, Mentors and Presenters of these NAMI Programs in their local communities. Go to the Education & Training page to find more information about these trainings.

Support Groups

Most NAMI Washington Affiliates hold weekly, peer-led recovery-support groups for individuals with mental health diagnoses. These groups are called NAMI Connection. Many of the local affiliates also offer NAMI Family Support Group for family members, caregivers, and friends supporting or caring for a loved one with mental illness. Support groups are not a replacement for counseling or therapy. They are groups of individuals who meet to share their challenges and benefit from each other’s lived experiences and support. All groups are confidential and group leaders are trained by NAMI to keep the discussions focused and emotionally safe.

Classes: Real World Mental Health Education

  • Family-to-Family: A 12-week course for families, partners and friends of individuals with serious mental illness. The course focuses on the emotional responses families have to the trauma of mental illness.
  • Peer-to-Peer: A 10-week recovery education course open to any adult with a serious mental illness. Peer-to-Peer emphasizes recovery from mental illness as a feasible, supportable goal and challenges the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • Basics: A six-week course developed specifically for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents who have either been diagnosed with a serious mental illness/serious emotional disturbance or who are experiencing symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed.
  • Homefront: A six-week course for families, caregivers and friends of active duty military members and veterans with mental health conditions. Based on the national recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country.

Community Education Programs

  • In Our Own Voice: A unique public education presentation that offers insight into the hope and recovery possible for people living with mental illness. Trained individuals living with mental illness lead a brief, yet comprehensive interactive presentation.
  • Parents & Teachers As Allies: Empowering teachers and school personnel to make a lasting difference in the lives of their students, NAMI Parents & Teachers as Allies (PTA) opens the door for schools to make a difference. This 90-minute presentation is led by a team from an affiliate’s community consisting of a young adult with a mental health condition, a parent and a teacher.
  • Ending the Silence: Helping middle and high school students understand mental illness makes a big difference. We can teach them about the warning signs for themselves and their friends. NAMI Ending the Silence helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental health conditions. Through this 50-minute classroom presentation, students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition, from the lived experience of a young adult living with mental illness and a family member.

Other Programs: Though not all of these programs are available at every NAMI Affiliate, our larger affiliates often have an even wider range of services such as youth groups, Club House programs, Crisis Intervention Training, Suicide Awareness and Groups, and lecture series. Contact your local NAMI Affiliate to find out what help is available near you.