This education course was created by an experienced family member who is also a mental health professional. It consists of a series of twelve weekly classes and is designed specifically for family members of adults living with mental illness. This course is now being offered in 49 states, Canada, Italy and Mexico, and has been translated into 5 foreign languages. Over 300,000 people have completed this course. The “Family-To-Family” course is offered as a community service to family members and caregivers of adult persons living with mental illness, therefore, there is no cost involved to take the course. Trained, volunteer family members in teams of two, facilitate the classes. The Family-to-Family course balances education and skill training with self-care, emotional support, and empowerment.
Important components of this course are:
- Information on mental disorders including: Schizophrenia, Schizo-affective Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder (Manic-depressive Disorder), Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Co-Occurring Brain Disorders (mental illness and combined substance abuse)
- Biology of the brain, including new research findings
- Coping skills; handling crisis and relapse
- Listening and communication techniques
- Problem solving and limit setting; rehabilitation
- Empathy: understanding the actual experience of people suffering from mental illness
- Self-care; learning how to recognize normal emotional reactions among families; how to deal with chronic worry and stress
- Basic information about medications and their side effects
- Information about connecting with appropriate community services and community supports
- Advocacy: Getting better services, fighting discrimination
If you would like to request this educational event in your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org.