Health & Environment

Free Course Offers Help For Families of Mentally Ill

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massachusetts with help from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and the Metro Boston Recovery Learning Community is sponsoring a free educational course in a downtown Boston location for family members and significant others of individuals with a serious mental illness.  There will be twelve weekly Wednesday evening classes from 6:30-9:00, beginning Wednesday February 16, 2011 and ending on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011.  The NAMI course, which has been given nationwide to over 100,000 family members, is intended to help family caregivers cope with a close relative’s mental illness.  The course is taught by two family member volunteers.

The Family to Family course will cover information about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and borderline personality disorder.  The classes also cover topics such as coping skills, crisis and relapse management, listening and communication techniques, problem solving and limit setting techniques, empathy and the family caregiver’s need for self-care.

The course is not open to individuals who themselves suffer from a serious mental illness, unless their condition is stable and they wish to attend as a caregiver for a close relative who has a mental illness.  The class size is limited to 30 participants and advance registration is required.

For more information or to register, please call 508 693-5872. See also www.namimass.org.