NAMI plans family to family class

A free mental health education class for family members and friends of persons with a mental illness will be offered next month by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Four County. The class, called Family to Family, begins Thursday, Feb. 18 starting at 6 p.m. in Defiance at the Sherwood State Bank community room, 400 W. Third St.

Family to Family is a 12-week class that meets for 2 ½ hours with each class covering a different topic, including: learning about the symptoms and facts of major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, and understanding each diagnosis as well as the treatment of each illness.

Other topics covered include dealing with difficult periods that a person suffering from a mental illness goes through, including relapse; an up-to-date medication review; a problem-solving workshop; developing strategies on how to better communicate with the mentally ill loved one; making sure family members and friends take care of themselves; and more.

The class curriculum was professionally developed by NAMI and instructors, Gary and Barb Arnos, are family members who have been trained by NAMI to teach the class. In fact, this will be the fifth class that they have taught.

Family to Family is now listed in SAMHSA’s national registry of evidence-based programs and practices.

Participants will receive a notebook full of information on each topic covered during the class.

Although the classes are free, registration is required. To register or get more detailed information about the Family to Family class, please call Gary or Barb Arnos at 419-270-1502 or 419-270-2591 evenings or weekends.