Key to this effort has been NAMI Family to Family, a program developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and offered here by its affiliate, NAMI Southern Santa Barbara County, which operates as a program of the Mental Wellness Center.
Family-to-Family Counseling is a free program that allows families of people living with mental health disabilities to come together to learn about mental illnesses and their treatments, how to best support the recovery of their ill family member. The series of 12 weekly classes provides information about the most common mental illnesses including major depression, bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression), Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, co-occurring brain disorders, and addictive disorders.
NAMI Family to Family has been offered locally at least twice yearly since 2000 leading to the milestone of recently graduating the 500th local participant, Claire Gottsdanker. Nationally, more than 250,000 people have completed the class, which has also recently been recognized as an “evidence based practice” in the management of mental health disorders.
Below is a news release with more information as well as an attached photo of Claire Gottsdanker, the 500th person to complete the Mental Wellness Center’s Family to Family program. Please call me at 687-3322 if you have any questions.