Share this article

print logo

Classes offered to help families cope with mental illness

The Western New York chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill this spring will offer a 12-week Family-to-Family class, and a six-week Homefront class for families of veterans dealing with the stresses of returning home after deployments.

These courses cover information on:

• Illnesses including schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic/anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD.

• Coping skills, such as handling crisis and relapse.

• Basic information about medications and working with treatment professionals.

• Listening and communication techniques.

• Problem-solving techniques.

• Recovery and rehabilitation.

• Caregivers’ self-care around worry and stress.

In addition, Homefront, modeled on Family-to-Family, includes a focus on the particular needs of military families in addressing mental illness, post-deployment and transition issues.

NAMI education courses are offered to the community at no cost. All educational materials are provided.

The upcoming classes are tailored for parents, mature or adult siblings, spouses, teenage and adult children, and significant others of persons who have severe and persistent mental illness. They are not designed for individuals who themselves have one of the major mental illnesses.

Family-to-Family classes will start April 6, and continue to run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. weekly for 12 weeks, at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4007 Main St., Amherst.

The next Homefront class will run for six weeks from mid-March through April. Location, start date and class time have yet to be determined.

Participants must commit to attending all sessions. Preregistration is required; call 226-6264 for more information or to preregister.