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

COVID-19 Update

Our community means everything to us, and we hope you are safe and healthy. Because we are not permitted to have in-person support groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will begin offering virtual classes online in Spring 2020 using the video-conferencing platform Zoom.

We have two virtual Spring classes starting in April: A Monday night class begins Monday, April 20 and a Thursday night class begins Thursday, April 23; both will be using Zoom. (Instructions on using Zoom and a video explainer on how to join a meeting.) Sign up now to register (classes are free, but registration is required.)

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 and virtually during the COVID-19 crisis. Classes are free but registration is required.