NAMI Sacramento, Sacramento's Voice on Mental Illness

Family-to-Family Classes

Who is this course for?

The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free 12-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe brain disorders (mental illnesses). The goal is to provide education about mental illness and treatments, emotional and practical support, and problem solving and communication skills for those dealing with the mental illness of a family member. To date, this free course has enrolled and graduated over 100,000 family members. 

Family-to-Family classmates

Who designed the course?

The course was written by Joyce Burland, Ph.D.,   director of NAMI National's Education, Training and Peer Support Center, who says "We hear regularly from participants that the course has helped them better understand their family member's illness and enabled them to empathize with their struggle."

Who teaches it?

This course is taught by trained volunteer family members in communities across the country.

What does it provide?

The Family-to-Family curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression), clinical depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The course discusses the clinical treatment of these illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively.

Course content

Each class contains a combination of lecture and interactive exercise material. Because each class builds on the one before, attendance each week is required.

See the weekly course topic list at right.

Register for the class or become a mentor teacher

See "Registration" at the top right of this page to register.



The next Family-To-Family course will begin September 13, 2016. To get on the Wait List please complete THIS FORM and return it to NAMI Sacramento.

Course Content

Week 1: Learning about feelings and learning about facts.

Week 2: Schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, diagnosis, critical periods.

Week 3: Major depression, mania, panic/anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, diagnosis and causes.

Week 4: Basics about the brain.

Week 5: Problem solving skills workshop.

Week 6: Medication review.

Week 7: What it's like to have a mental illness — empathy workshop.

Week 8: Communications skills workshop.

Week 9: Support groups and self-care.

Week 10 : Rehabilitation and potential for recovery.

Week 11: Advocacy — fighting stigma.

Week 12: Review, evaluation, certification and celebration.

NAMI Sacramento cannot be held responsible for the use of the information we provide.
Please always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision
regarding treatment of yourself or others.