NAMI Logo

The National Alliance on Mental Illness logo

What do you think about when you read or hear the term “mental illness?”

If you are depressed, would you consider going to a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) support group, or might you think, “I don’t have mental illness, I’m just depressed?”

Would you be concerned about what people might think if they knew you went? Do you struggle alone?

NAMI reports that one in five adults in America experience a mental illness; nearly one in 25 (10 million) live with a serious mental illness. These can include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and anxiety disorders.

The odds are that if you do not experience some sort of mental health condition yourself, you know someone who does.

Learning to understand their experience can strengthen relationships, improve communication and help create a mutually sustaining healthy community.

NAMI Payson offers free support groups and education programs to give people the tools they need to overcome their challenge and meet others who can relate to their experience with empathy and lack of judgment.

NAMI Payson is offering two free programs in August. One is an eight-session peer-to-peer program and the other is a 12-session family-to-family program.

Both classes are free, but registration is required due to limited space. Register by emailing namipayson@yahoo.com or calling 928-301-9140.

Peer-to-peer class

The class runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 20 through Oct. 22 at Rim Country Health, 807 W. Longhorn Road

It is a free, eight-session educational program for adults with mental health conditions.

Taught by trained leaders, this program includes activities, discussions and informative videos. The course provides an opportunity for mutual support and growth. This is a place to learn more about recovery in an accepting environment, according to organizers.

Course goals:

• Set a vision and goals for the future

• Partner with health care providers

• Develop confidence in making decisions

• Practice relaxation and stress reduction tools

• Share your story

• Strengthen relationships

• Enhance communication skills

• Learn about mental health treatment options

Family-to-family class

The class runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Aug. 12 through Nov. 4 at Gila Community College, 201 N. Mud Springs Road.

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-class program for family members of adults living with mental illness.

The course is designed to help all family members understand and support their loved one with mental illness while maintaining their own well-being.

The course includes information on illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health conditions.

In May 2013, the program was added to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.

Family-to-family includes:

• Current information about mental illnesses and research

• Current treatment strategies

• A class on empathy

• Training in problem solving, listening, communicating and handling crises and relapse

• An overall focus on care for the caregiver such as learning to cope with worry, stress and emotional overload

• Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community and offer tips of advocating for those supports and services

• Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services, with an emphasis on personal advocates for the parent/caregiver and child on an individual level.

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