Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Introducing...NAMI Basics!

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We are pleased to announce the addition of NAMI Basics to NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania’s signature education programs. NAMI Basics is designed for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illness. The course is taught by trained teachers who are the parents of children that developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13.

The course consists of six classes, lasting two and a half hours each. All instruction materials are FREE to participants.

The goals of NAMI Basics are:

* To give the parent/caregiver the basic information necessary to take the best care possible of their child, their family and themselves.

* To help the parent/caregiver cope with the impact that mental illness has on the child and the entire family.

* To provide tools for the parent/caregiver to use after completing the course that will assist in making the best decisions possible for the care of the child.

The course includes current information about mental illnesses; insights into understanding the lived experience of the child diagnosed with the mental illness; current research related to the biology of mental illness and the evidence-based, most effective treatment strategies available; specific skill building classes to learn problem-solving, listening and communication skills; and dealing with the school system, among other topics.

The first class will be held at Monroeville United Methodist Church each Thursday evening beginning March 3 to April 7 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania Associate Director Debbie Ference and NAMI Volunteer Denise Michaels will be teaching the class.

SPACE IS LIMITED. If you are interested in signing up for the class, please call the NAMI office at 412-366-3788 or email

Contributed by Lora M. Dziemiela, Program Secretary

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