Mental health education offered

A free mental health education class for family members and friends of adults with a mental illness will be offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Four County.

“Family to Family,” a 12-week, 2 1/2 class, begins Monday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. at First Church of God, 507 N. Fulton St., in Wauseon.

Topics will include learning the symptoms and facts of major depression; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; panic disorder; and obsessive compulsive disorder. Participants will learn about 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; and making sure family members and friends take care of themselves, among others.

The class curriculum was professionally developed by NAMI and trained instructors Roger and Sharon Weaver, who will teach the class. Participants will receive a notebook full of information on each topic covered during the class.

“Knowing that you are not alone…that there are other families who struggle with mental illness and deal with the same issues is a relief and a source of support for many participants,” said Sharon Weaver.

“Family to Family” is now listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national registry of evidence-based programs and practices that are effective.

The classes are free, but registration is required. Call Roger or Sharon Weaver at 419-335-1099 by Wednesday, Sept. 7 so enough binders and hand-outs can be prepared. However, late registrants will be accepted.