NAMI Basics

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NAMI Basics is a free, 6-week class for parents and family caregivers of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or have already been diagnosed.

NAMI Basics is offered in a group setting so you can connect with other people face-to-face. This course is also available in Spanish, Bases y Fundamentos de NAMI.

You’ll learn the facts about mental health conditions and how best to support your child at home, at school and when they’re getting medical care. Last year, 99% of participants told us they would recommend the program to other parents.

The course is taught by a trained team with lived experience—they know what you’re going through because they’ve been there. The 6-session program provides critical strategies for taking care of your child and learning the ropes of recovery.

What You’ll Gain

At NAMI Basics, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope. The group setting of NAMI Basics provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You also can help others with your own experience.

You’ll learn the facts about mental health conditions and how best to support your child at home, at school and when they’re getting medical care. Whether you and your child are dealing with behavioral issues, undiagnosed emotional issues, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or other diagnoses such as major depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder, substance use disorders, or more, NAMI Basics will help.

NAMI Basics covers:

  • Managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively.
  • How to take care of yourself and handle stress.
  • Developing the confidence and stamina to support your child with compassion.
  • Advocating for your child’s rights at school and in health care settings.
  • Learning about current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects.
  • Gaining an overview of the public mental health care, school and juvenile justice systems.
  • Understanding the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on your entire family.
  • The trauma of mental illness for the child and family.
  • The biology of mental illness: getting an accurate diagnosis.
  • The latest research on medical aspects of the illness and advances in treatment.
  • An overview of treatment options.
  • The impact of a child’s mental illness on the rest of the family (caregivers, siblings, etc.).
  • An overview of the systems involved in caring for children and teens and the importance of record keeping.

Sign Up for a Class

Classes are offered during the week, mornings, afternoons, and evenings, and on Saturdays.  For information about the next NAMI Basics course, please contact the Helpline.