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Local NAMI offers family-to-family series

Free course aims to help the loved ones impacted

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 6:58 a.m. CST

NAMI Will-Grundy will sponsor the National Alliance on Mental Illesses’ Family-to-Family Education Program specifically for families of person diagnosed with a mental illness.

The 12-week series of classes will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at the NAMI Will-Grundy office, 417 S. Taylor St. 2E, Joliet, Ill., 60435.

The course will cover information about schizophrenia, the mood disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression), panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder; coping skills, such as handling crisis and relapse; basic information about medications; listening and communication techniques; problem-solving skills; recovery and rehabilitation; and self-care around worry and stress. The curriculum has been written by an experienced family member mental health professional and the course will be taught by NAMI Will-Grundy family member volunteers who have taken intensive training as course instructors.

Joyce MacGirvin and Loretta Schwake will be the co-teachers for the Joliet area.

“This course is a wonderful experience,” MacGirvin said. “It balances basic psychoeducation and skill-training with emotional support, self-care and empowerment. We hope families with relatives who have a serious mental illness will take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

The course is designed specifically for significant others who are caregivers of person with severe and persistent mental illness. The course is not appropriate for individuals who themselves have a major mental illness.

The course is free. For information or to register, call (815) 212-9151.

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