TCSPP Westwood Hosting NAMI Family to Family Classes

05/22/2012

A series of 12 free weekly classes structured to help caregivers understand and support individuals with serious mental illness, while maintaining their own well- being.  The course is taught by three trained NAMI family member volunteers who know what it is like to have a loved one struggling with brain disorders.  There is no cost to participate in the NAMI Family-To-Family Program.  Over 90,000 people in the U.S., Canada and Mexico have completed this course.  The classroom experience offers empathy training for family members, such as how to make space for the illness in the family system and how to communicate with someone with a brain illness. The course teaches crisis management, limit setting, suicide prevention and how to advocate within the mental health system.  After the classes, family members feel less alone, less frightened, less shame and understood by others.  They feel empowered to advocate for their relative with psychiatrists, clinics and hospitals to demand the excellent treatment they deserve.    

We presently have 160 volunteer “Family to Family” teachers trained in English throughout the county, 9 of whom are bilingual. In addition there are 42 volunteer teachers trained in Spanish to teach “Familia de Familia” classes, 21 African American volunteer teachers and 3 Asian teachers. To date the NAMI’s in Los Angeles County had graduated approximately 1080 family members.  Teachers say it is an honor to be a Family to Family teacher and help others understand and know they can have a life in spite of a mental illness visiting their family.  Knowledge is power and families feel they can cope with brain illnesses in their family or friends after taking this class.

“Ask not what disease a person has, but what person a disease has.” - Dr. Oliver Sacks 

Classes begin June 13th from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M.


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