Are you parents, partners, family, or friends of someone suffering with Mental Illness?
If so this FREE course in Bradenton from NAMI Trained instructors Dick and Holly Grafton, that has helped over 300,000 people understand and cope with their loved


The Popular and Extremely Well Received

The Family to Family Education Program IS FREE

What is NAMI's Family-to-Family Program?

  • The course is taught by trained family members.
  • All instruction and course materials are free to class participants
  • Over 115,000 family members have graduated from this national program.

  • What does the course include?

  • Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders and addictive disorders

  • Up-to-date information about medications, side effects, and strategies for medication adherence
  • Current research related to the biology of brain disorders and the evidence-based, most effective treatments to promote recovery
  • Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness
  • Learning in special workshops for problem solving, listening, and comm unication techniques
  • Acquiring strategies for handling crises and relapse
  • Focusing on care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress, and emotional overload
  • Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community
  • Information on advocacy initiativeease check back for details of our next programs designed to improve and expand services
  • Signup HERE
  • For more info and/or to signup call 941 807 1454 or email Dick and Holly at: namif2f@aol.com

    A movie and more about Family to Family from NAMI National NAMI National

    From:The Bradenton Herald, Fla., Donna Wright Column:
    NAMI Course Helps Families Deal With Mental Illness .........
    Posted on: Saturday, 2 February 2008, 15:00 CST

    When her son, John, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a decade ago, Gwen Statkus was overwhelmed and bewildered.
      "We didn't understand what this meant; we didn't know what to do", she said.
    Then, Gwen saw an ad for the Family-to-Family Education Program offered by the local chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, or NAMI.
      "It helped us educate ourselves," Gwen said. "It helped us know how we can best help our loved ones. It helps us advocate for better services, to be supportive of each other, it helps us understand mental illnesses is a no-fault disease. That's the big factor that keeps people from asking for help, the shame that maybe you as a parent are to blame, but that's not true."
      The Statkus family learned that their son, John, has a chronic illness, one that is no different from any other chronic illness that affects any other organ of the body. His illness just happened to affect his brain.
    "We learned that bipolar is a genetic illness and we learned we are not alone," Gwen said. "It really lifts your spirits when you can share with other families and learn how other people handle mental illness. It helped us not feel embarrassed or ashamed." And when John's parents learned more about his disease and how to really help him that knowledge, in turn, helped John.The Family-To-Family Program entrusts education to NAMI members who are, by any measure, the most advanced self-educated lay population in modern medicine, writes program director Joyce Burland. "The goals of this program are radical; they go far beyond the traditional curriculum of illness information and behavioral training.  Although the course is rich in clinical detail, our primary mission in education involves orchestrating a transformation from personal devastation to action and power".
    "Until his mid-20s, John had no symptoms", his mother said." He had always been happy and a lot of fun to be around. He was like Pied Piper". At the time John, whom his mother described very creative and artistic, had his own successful videography business. Then he started having depressions and problems handling the stress, his mother said. When the depressions didn't go away but got worse, the Statkuses sought the advice of one of John's former school principals, who is a therapist, who recommended therapy.
      "What helped me was finding out how many creative, intelligent people have this disease", Gwen said.
    Through the Family-to-Family class, she began learning more about the dysfunctions in the brain that causes the illness and how medications can help to correct that imbalance.
      NARSAD (previously known as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) gives this definition of bipolar disease: Formerly known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by severe shifts in a person's mood and energy, which make it difficult for the person to function. More than 5.7 million American adults or 2.6 percent of the population age 18 or older in any given year have bipolar disorder, NARSAD reports. The condition typically starts in late adolescence or early adulthood, although it can show up in children and in older adults. People often live with the disease without having it properly diagnosed and treated -- as John Statkus is doing.
      Gwen is very proud of her son who is employed at a local conference center where he helps stage and videotape events.
    "He is a real asset to them", his mother said. "He is a hard worker".
    There are several lessons here. --John's success shows how information, support and effective treatment can help reverse the devastating symptoms of mental illness when those affected by the disease know what to do.
    --Through the Family-To-Family course the Statkuses learned how to help John and through their advocacy help eliminate the stigma of mental illness. --Help is available for families trying to do handle this challenge on their own.  All they have to do is reach out and contact the local chapter of NAMI. There is no charge. Contact Linda Davis, 778-2095.
    What: Family-To-Family course offered by National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Manatee County, a 12-week course taught by trained NAMI members for family members of individuals with brain disorders, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic/anxiety disorder

    Cost: Free

    Donna Wright, health and social services reporter, can be reached at 745-7049. To see more of The Bradenton Herald or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.bradenton.com. Copyright (c) 2008, The Bradenton Herald, Fla. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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