NAMI Support Groups
NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances. NAMI support groups are unique because they follow a structured model, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to be heard and to get what they need.
What You Should Expect
- Free of cost to participants
- Designed for adult loved ones (18+) of individuals living with mental illness
- Led by family members of individuals living with mental illness
- Meets weekly
- No specific medical therapy or medication is endorsed or recommended
Why You Should Attend
Reinforcement in an environment of sincere, uncritical acceptance
At each meeting, you review the Group Guidelines and Principles of Support and update the group on the current events in your life, then spend the bulk of the meeting in group discussion, or ‘group work’. The group addresses urgent issues of its members and participants share their learned experience, or ‘group wisdom’. As a participant, your voice is heard, and you can contribute to a dynamic that encourages empathy, productive discussion and a sense of community.
Tools for caring for yourself and for your loved one
The support group can offer you practical advice on addressing issues related to mental illness and your loved one. It also gives you the appropriate space to have your personal needs met so that you can provide the best possible care for your family member. Taking time to voice your experiences and to hear from others may help you develop your inner reserves of strength. You may gain confidence in your ability to cope with your family member’s mental illness as well as local knowledge on how to best access needed services for your family member.
The Principles of Support
- We will see the individual first, not the illness.
- We recognize that mental illnesses are medical illnesses that may have environmental triggers.
- We understand that mental illnesses are traumatic events.
- We aim for better coping skills.
- We find strength in sharing experiences.
- We reject stigma and do not tolerate discrimination.
- We won’t judge anyone’s pain as less than our own.
- We forgive ourselves and apply mercy to guilt.
- We embrace humor as healthy.
- We accept we cannot solve all problems.
- We expect a better future in a realistic way.
- We will never give up hope.