The National Alliance on Mental Illness East Central Affiliate will sponsor a family-to-family education course for families of those persons diagnosed with serious mental illness. This program is offered annually as a public service for the community to assist families in helping their loved one cope with and recover from mental illness.
The 12-week series of classes will start Thursday, March 6, from 6-8:30 p.m. and be held in the CTC Building located at the west end of the Richmond State Hospital Campus.
The course will be taught by Patt Brown and Kim Lairson, who have been especially trained by NAMI Indiana. The curriculum, designed by NAMI, is copyrighted and created by top professionals in various specialties of the mental health field. A manual is provided to each attendee to refer to during the class and for future reference.
During the course, those attending will learn
• Characteristics of the various mental disorders;
• How to deal with mental illness within the family;
• Information on the various medications, their purpose, benefits and potential side-effects;
• How to talk to the ill person and get the message through;
• How to get cooperation from the ill person;
• Why thought disorders interfere with the ability to understand and communicate;
• How and when to be appropriately assertive with the patient;
• What lifetime commitments are for families dealing with a mentally ill loved one;
• How to recognize suicide risk;
• How to define recovery;
• How to advocate for a loved one in order to get needed care;
• What questions to ask the psychiatrist; and
• How care-givers can care for themselves.
Questions by the participants are invited.
The program is completely free of charge, and more than one family member may attend. NAMI Indiana and NAMI East Central are funding the course.
Seating is limited, so reservations are necessary. To RSVP, persons can call the NAMI office at 765-966-4094. Office hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At other times, leave a message.