NAMI offers free programs for families, friends of people with mental-health conditions

Local News

NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley offers free nationally developed education programs that teach families to cope, communicate and effectively advocate for a loved one living with a mental health condition.

“The challenges related to the pandemic, economic hardship and political discord has underscored the need for all of us to take care of our mental health. One in three persons are now experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, many for the first time. Black communities are dis-proportionally affected,” Bettina McWilliams, NAMI volunteer family education instructor, said in a news release.

Williams will lead two education opportunities for Black family members at the TMBC Lincoln Center, Davenport. She will share her own stories of supporting family members who live with mental health conditions.

“Talking about mental health is not a sign of personal weakness. Talking about it is essential for our collective health,” she said. “Today only one in three Black adults who need mental health care receive it, and Black youth under the age of 13 are two times more likely to complete suicide than white children,” McWilliams said.

“Stigma often prevents families from seeking help. Though mental health conditions are medical conditions that are treatable and living in recovery is possible. So let’s talk about this.”

The NAMI Family & Friends Seminar is free and open to the public from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26. Topics will include understanding diagnoses, treatment and recovery, effective communication strategies, the importance of self-care, and crisis preparation strategies. Register here.

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, private education program, and scheduled for TMBC Lincoln Center on
eight Thursday evenings beginning Sept, 9. The course is designed for family members, significant
others and friends of adults living with a mental health condition. Course topics will include family response to trauma, diagnosis and dealing with critical periods, problem solving, communications skills, and self-care for caregivers. Registration is required.

The programs are made possible by the support from United Way Quad Cities, Regional Development
Authority, and the Eastern Iowa Mental Health Region.

To learn more about NAMI programs visit here.

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