Sara Swanson

FREE program for family members, friends & caregivers of individuals with mental illness

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St Joseph Mercy – Chelsea recently announced a program it is offering for families, friends, and caregivers of individuals diagnosed with a mental illness such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Family-to-Family program is one of several signature programs developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and is an evidenced-based program; it has quantitative research to support its effectiveness. Family-to-Family consists of a series of 12 weekly classes structured to help parents, friends, and care givers understand and support individuals with serious mental illness while maintaining their own well being. A team of trained NAMI family member volunteers, who understand what it is like to have a loved one struggling with a chronic psychiatric condition, teaches the classes.

Family-to-Family Curriculum:

  • Class 1: Introduction to Family Education
  • Class 2: Symptoms of Major Mental Illnesses and Getting Through a Crisis.
  • Class 3: Co-occurring Brain and Addictive Disorders, Telling Our Stories.
  • Class 4: Basics About the Brain
  • Class 5: Problem Solving Workshop
  • Class 6: Medication Review
  • Class 7: Empathy
  • Class 8: Communication Skills Workshop
  • Class 9: Self-care
  • Class 10: Rehabilitation
  • Class 11: Fighting Stigma, Advocacy
  • Class 12: Evaluation, Certification and Celebration

This course teaches the basics about serious brain disorders and treatments, helps connect people to community resources and teaches important skills and coping techniques for their difficult journey. The class meets weekly and starts Thursday, March 9, 2017 . It will run for 12 weeks from 6 – 8:30 pm in Chelsea Clocktower Commons located at 350 N. Main Street, Suite 150, in Chelsea.

Please call to register and speak to Kathy Walz, Behavioral Health Navigator at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea at 734-680-5312. Registration is required. There is no cost to participate in this program. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information, visit

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