What is NAMI Basics?
- A signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses, offered locally in person or online
- It is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years
- The course consists of 6 classes, each lasting 2 ½ hours.
- Classes may be offered weekly for 6 consecutive weeks, or may be offered twice per week for 3 weeks to accommodate the hectic schedules of parents
- All instruction materials are free to participants
What does Basics include?
- Introduction to the stages of emotional reactions of the family to the mental illness; including crisis, shock, denial, grief and acceptance.
- Insights into understanding of the lived experience of the child living with the mental illness, including learning to separate the child you love from the illness that alters their behavior and abilities
- Current information about Attention Deficit Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorders
- Current research related to the biology of mental illness and the evidence-based, most effective treatment strategies available, including medications used to treat mental illness in children and adolescents
- Specific workshops to learn problem solving, listening and communication skills
- Examples of strategies that have been found helpful in handling challenging behaviors in children and adolescents
- Information about the systems that are major players in the lives of children and adolescents with mental illness – the school system and the mental health system
- Exposure to personal record keeping systems that have proven to be effective for parents/caregivers in their interactions with the school and healthcare systems
- Information on planning for crisis management and relapse
- Information on locating appropriate supports and services within the community to build a community of support for the parent/caregiver
- Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services, with an emphasis on personal advocates for the parent/caregiver and child on an individual level
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