Classes to Help Families of Mentally Ill
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Moore County (NAMI-MC) is offering the 12-week "Family to Family" course free to family members of close relatives with mental illness.
Attendees will learn of all current information about the severe and persistent mental illnesses and addictive disorders, up-to-date information about medications, and current research.
They will also gain empathy by understanding the subject, lived experiences of a person with a mental illness while learning in special workshops about problem solving, listening, and communication techniques.
Attendees will be given strategies for handling crises and relapse, while learning how to cope with the worry, stress, and emotional overload of being a caregiver. They will be given guidance on locating appropriate support and services within our community, and information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services.
A former student praised the program by saying, "It was the first course that spelled out for me what it was like to be a patient with a severe mental illness, and what it was like to be a family member."
Another said, "It literally demonstrated for me what it was like to listen to someone having auditory hallucinations. It taught me how to be an empathetic listener, and finally, I gained incredible respect for the family members of people struggling with a severe brain illness."
Marianne Kernan, NAMI-Moore County president, said, "The course was so enlightening three years ago that I decided to acquire the credentials to teach this offering in July."
She will be joined by Ellen Airs, board member and co-chair of NAMI-MC's Pathway to Awareness Weekend.
For more information or to register for this free educational course, which begins Tuesday, July 8, interested persons can call 235-0292.
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