The NAMI Family-to-Family class is a free 12-week, 30-hour program designed for family members who have loved ones with mental illness.

Upcoming Classes

We have two Spring classes, starting in April: Monday nights at Cedars-Sinai; Thursday nights in Santa Monica. Sign up now to register.

Class Participants

The class is offered to those with family members or loved ones living with mental health conditions, including:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Major Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Class Format

In this weekly class, participants learn about brain illnesses, medication, medication adherence, stress reduction, empathy for their loved ones, setting boundaries, caring for themselves, communication and problem-solving skills, therapeutic resources, and advocacy. NAMI Family-to-Family classes are taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and include presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. The Family-to-Family class is for family members, significant others and close friends of those who are living with mental illness, including:

  • An introduction to the stages of emotional reactions of the family to the mental illness, including crisis, shock, denial, grief, and acceptance.
  • Insights into understanding the lived experience of a person living with mental illness, including learning to separate the family member you love from the illness that alters their behavior and abilities.
  • Current information about Attention Deficit Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorders.
  • Current research related to the biology of mental illness and the most effective, evidence-based treatment strategies available, including medications used to treat mental illness in children and adolescents.
  • Workshops on problem-solving, listening, and communication skills.
  • Examples of strategies that have been found helpful in handling challenging behaviors in the mentally ill.
  • Exposure to personal record-keeping systems that have proven to be effective for family members in their interactions with the school and healthcare systems.
  • Information on planning for crisis management and relapse.
  • Information on locating appropriate supports and services within the community to build a community of support for the family member.
  • Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services, with an emphasis on personal advocates for the family member and their mentally ill loved one.

Goals of the NAMI Family-to-Family Class

  • To give the family members the basic information necessary to take the best care possible of their loved ones and themselves.
  • To help the family member cope with the impact that mental illness has on the loved one and entire family.
  • To provide tools for the family member to use, even after completing the program that will assist in making the best decisions possible for their family.

Family-to-Family Class Registration

The Family-to-Family class is offered throughout the year at a various Los Angeles locations. The current classes are in session and filled, but we are accepting pre-registration for future classes.

Registration is now open for our Winter 2020 classes:

  • Cedars Sinai: Monday nights beginning January 13th.
  • Pacific Palisades: Tuesday nights beginning on January 14th.

Classes are free but registration is required, and they fill up quickly.