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Free classes can help families cope with mental illness

The Winchester Star - 3/5/2018

Star staff report

WINCHESTER — The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Northern Shenandoah Valley affiliate, will hold a NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program designed to help families of people diagnosed with a serious mental illness.

The 12-class session begins Saturday. The free classes will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Calvary Baptist Church, 844 Amherst St. in Winchester.

The course will cover information about schizophrenia, mood disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression), panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The classes will also address such topics as:

handling crisis and relapse;

basic information about medications;

listening and communication techniques;

problem-solving skills;

recovery and rehabilitation;

and self-care about worry and stress.

The curriculum has been written by an experienced family member who is a mental health professional. The course will be taught by two NAMI–Northern Shenandoah Valley family member volunteers who have taken intensive training as course instructors.

Families will also a have a chance to network and bond with others who have a relative with a serious mental illness.

The course is designed specifically for parents, siblings, spouses, teenage and adult sons and daughters, and partners and significant others who are caregivers of people with severe and persistent mental illness.

The course is not appropriate for individuals who themselves have a major mental illness.

For more information or to register for the free course, call or text Connie at 540-533-1832. Leave a voice message and she will return your call. Or, you can email inquiries to


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