A free mental health education class for family members and friends of adults with a mental illness will be offered next month by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Four County. The class, called Family to Family, begins Monday, Sept. 11 starting at 6 p.m. in Wauseon at the First Church of God, 507 N. Fulton St.
Family to Family is a 12-week class that meets for 2 ½ hours with each class covering a different topic, including: learning about the symptoms and facts of major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, and understanding each diagnosis as well as the treatment of each illness. Other topics covered include dealing with difficult periods that a person suffering from a mental illness goes through, including relapse; an up-to-date medication review; a problem-solving workshop; developing strategies on how to better communicate with the mentally ill loved one; making sure family members and friends take care of themselves; and more.
The class curriculum was professionally developed by NAMI and instructors, Roger and Sharon Weaver, are family members who have been trained by NAMI to teach the class.
Family to Family is now listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national registry of evidence-based programs and practices that are effective.
Participants will receive a notebook full of information on each topic covered during the class.
NAMI Four County members have been offering the Family to Family class at no cost to community members for more than 11 years. Past participant evaluations have reported that the information presented is very helpful as the families strive to learn more about their loved one’s illness and how to help them. However, participants say that having the opportunity to hear and share similar experiences with other families is the most valuable part of the class.
“Knowing that you are not alone…that there are other families who struggle with mental illness and deal with the same issues is a relief and a source of support for many participants,” said Sharon Weaver, one of the class leaders.
Although the classes are free, registration is required. To register or get more detailed information about the Family to Family class, please call Roger or Sharon Weaver at 419-335-1099 by Wednesday, Sept. 6 so enough binders and hand-outs can be prepared. However, late registrants will be accepted.
For more information about NAMI Four County – the free classes, support groups and meetings that it offers – please visit their website: www.namifourcounty.org.