The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of North Central Massachusetts will offer Family-to-Family, a free 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses, starting on Monday, Feb. 24.

The course, with enrollment limited to 24, will take place on Monday evenings, 6:30-9 p.m., in Groton, Feb. 24 to May 12. We particularly invite family members in the Nashoba Valley region to enroll in the course, but we also welcome individuals from outside the area.

The course is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have lived the journey and can relate on a personal level to those seeking knowledge and comfort.

Family-to-Family participants will receive current information on serious mental illnesses such as major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia; learn about medications, side effects and evidence-based treatments; practice problem-solving skills and communication techniques; develop strategies for handling crises and relapses; review local community services and supports; and focus on self-care and coping with stress.

Family-to-Family is a nationally recognized, evidence-based course that has been taught to more than 300,000 individuals across the country.


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Research has shown that family members who participate in Family-to-Family classes have significantly greater overall empowerment as well as empowerment within their family, the service system and their community; greater knowledge of mental illness; better coping skills; less anxiety related to being able to control conditions; and higher reported levels of problem-solving skills related to family functioning.

In other words, the NAMI Family-to-Family education program leads to positive life changes for participants that enable them to feel more in control of their own lives.

Family members who are interested in enrolling in this course should contact Greg Reiff (860-212-9363), Tom McKenna (978-302-9015), or Guy Beales (508-736-3887) or send an email to f2fgroton@gmail.com.