Mental Illness in Families

If you are a family member of someone living with a mental health condition, you are in the right place. We offer friends and family programs and services (seminars and educational programs) designed to help you speak the same language and maintain enjoyable relationships. This page is dedicated to families and our familial educational programs. Our family support groups are another great place to spend some time.

Family Mental Health Education

NAMI Family-to-Family (for those supporting adult loved ones) and NAMI Basics (for caregivers of youth) are the two programs centered around family mental health education (see below for more information). Family members, caregivers and even friends can attend at no cost. These classes provide an ultra-safe and confidential space to talk to people going through something similar. We offer coping tips and plenty of information!

Your loved one may be in shock or even in denial as they are developing a mental health illness*, especially if it’s a new diagnosis. You may be feeling guilt, shame, fear, anger, and grief. You might also wonder about genetic factors and whether it runs in families.

Keep in mind, your family member with a mental health condition likely feels the same. Acceptance for all involved can take time so patience is key. In addition to our mental health education, support groups and seminars, there are things you can start doing on your own right now.

Some experts encourage autonomy. So, as much as you might want to take all of the responsibility on your shoulders (lightening the load for your loved one), it likely wouldn’t be healthy for either of you. When possible and age-appropriate, encourage them to drive themselves to their appointments, prepare their own meals, etc.

*Disorders or developing mental illnesses include bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.

NAMI Family-to-Family

Education for Family & Friends

This free, 8-session education program is for family, significant others and friends of adult individuals affected by mental illness. Significantly improve your coping and problem solving capabilities with this class. You don’t have to take our word for it, though! The facts are all there thanks to several university studies plus federal agency research.

There are presentations, discussions and interactive sessions in a group setting. You’ll experience compassion and validation from people who understand your mental health problems. You also have the ability to help others by sharing your own experiences. Learn about:

NAMI Basics

Education for Parents and Caregivers of Youth

This 6-session, free educational program is for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents who have either been diagnosed with a mental health condition or who are experiencing symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed. You will learn:

Did you know that 17% of our youth (6 – 17 years old) experience a mental disorder? That is why early detection is key.

NAMI – Quad Cities

We are the local Quad Cities affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), a grassroots organization dedicated to educating everyone – from young people to mature adults – that mental health conditions are treatable and recovery is possible. Early detection, treatment and recovery aren’t just for cancer patients. They are for us, too.