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Educational Programs

Family To Family

Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session education program for family, friends and caregivers of individuals living with mental illness. The course is designed to help all family members understand and support their loved one, while maintaining their own well-being. The course includes information on illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health conditions.  The 2-1/2 hour class meets for 12 consecutive weeks, and each week’s topic builds on the previous topics covered. Therefore, it is important that participants attend each class. Thousands of families describe the program as life changing. The program is taught by trained teachers who are also family members and know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness.  In 2013, the NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program was added to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Please call the NAMI Westchester office at 914-592-5458 for more information.

Peer-To-Peer Course

Peer-to-Peer course is a free, 12-week, experience-based program for individuals in recovery from mental illness who wish to establish and maintain their wellness. Taught by a team of trained “mentors” who are living healthy and productive lives with mental illness, participants will learn from shared experiences in an environment of sincere, uncritical acceptance.  Class topics include understanding psychiatric disorders and medication; addressing stigma, discrimination, and relationship issues; how to identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behaviors, or events that may signal impending relapse; how to create your own “relapse prevention plan;” and survival skills for working with providers and the general public. A two-week health and wellness component has been added to the course to address the most serious physical health problems and prevention.

Please call the NAMI Westchester office at 914-592-5458 for more information about registering for a Peer-to-Peer class.

In Our Own Voice

 In Our Own Voice is a unique outreach program in which individuals living with mental illness speak to a variety of community groups about their own personal journeys. In moving presentations, they describe dark days and recovery.Using video, dialogue with the audience, and distribution of printed resource information, the speakers give their perspectives on living with a brain disorder and a compelling glimpse into the challenges they face.   IOOV is a crucial effort to break the stigma of mental illness—a scorn that prevents people from seeking help when they need it and marginalizes those who struggle to fit into their communities.

In Our Own Voice is focused on spreading the message of recovery by living example. It provides hope and opportunity to both the audience and the presenters.

Mental health consumers interested in helping to decrease stigma and increase public awareness about mental illness are encouraged to become In Our Own Voice presenters. All In Our Own Voice speakers take an intensive two-day instruction course provided by NAMI NYS and continue training with our coordinators on an on-going basis.

For more information, please call the NAMI Westchester office at 914-592-5458.

Ending The Silence

Ending the Silence is a fifty-minute in-school presentation about mental health designed for high school and middle school students. Students can learn about mental illness directly from family members and individuals living with mental illness themselves.

Students will learn about the biological basis and impact of mental illness on youth well, as concrete ways to use this knowledge.  Topics include the signs and symptoms of mental illness, recovery and coping strategies, ways to seek help for themselves or a friend, and more.

The presentation’s message of empathy and hope encourages students to actively care for themselves and their peers, whether by reaching out for help, encouraging a friend or family member to seek help or by reducing stigma. Contact with a positive role model, in the form of the young adult presenter, can powerfully change their views of a common but stigmatized life experience. The discussion portion gives students a rare opportunity to ask questions and learn personal truths about mental illness.

For more information about this program and to schedule a presentation please call the NAMI Westchester office at 914-592-5458.



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