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NAMI Basics

NAMI Basics is a free, 6 class education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens whom are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or whom have already been diagnosed. NAMI Basics is offered in a group setting so you can connect with other people face-to-face.  The course is usually presented in either six evening sessions or on three two-part Saturdays.

You’ll learn the facts about mental health conditions and how best to support your child at home, at school and when they’re getting medical care. Last year, 99% of participants told us they would recommend the program to other parents.

The course is taught by a trained team with lived experience—they know what you’re going through because they’ve been there. The 6-session program provides critical strategies for taking care of your child and learning the ropes of recovery.

What You’ll Gain

At NAMI Basics, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope. The group setting of NAMI Basics provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You also can help others with your own experience.

NAMI Basics covers:

  • Managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively
  • How to take care of yourself and handle stress
  • Developing the confidence and stamina to support your child with compassion
  • Advocating for your child’s rights at school and in health care settings
  • Learning about current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects
  • Gaining an overview of the public mental health care, school and juvenile justice systems
  • Understanding the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on your entire family


Transition Age Youth Presentation

Developed to assist in exploring the multiple issues and challenges for transition age youth and their families. This toolkit may be used as an additional NAMI Basics session or for one-time presentations in a variety of settings, such as:

  • State conference workshops
  • PTA meetings
  • Other settings where an audience of parents and other family caregivers may attend

If you are interested in attending or hosting one of these presentations, please contact your local affiliate or NAMI SD.

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