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Family Support Groups
We offer support groups for family members of adults and children with mental health problems.
NAMI Family Support Groups are 90-minute weekly support groups run by the family members of persons who live with mental illness for other friends and family members of persons living with a mental illness. These groups provide a place that offers respect, understanding, encouragement, and hope.
NAMI Family Support Groups offer a casual and relaxed approach to sharing the challenges and successes of coping with mental illness. Each group:
- Meets weekly for 90 minutes.
- Is offered free of charge
- Follows a flexible structure without an educational format
- Does not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies
All groups are confidential – participants can share as much or as little personal information as they wish.
Where in Virginia can I find a Family Support Group that is geared towards families/friends who have an adult family member with mental illness?
Currently in Virginia there are Family Support Groups forming or running in the following localities. To find a NAMI Family Support Group near you click here.
- Hampton/Newport News
- Virginia Beach
- Northern Virginia
- Prince William Co.
- Hampton/Newport News
- Virginia Beach
- Franklin City
Support groups are open to all adult friends and family members of individuals living with a mental illness. Participants should feel welcome to drop by and share feelings, difficulties, or successes. Everyone is a valued participant. There is no program registration fee, and each meeting is free of charge.
Where in Virginia can I find a group that is geared towards families who have an child or youth family member with a mental health problem?
Thank you to everyone who attended the September training, it was a huge success!
Interested in Becoming a Family Support Group Facilitator?
Local Trainings Scheduled
Winchester: March 8th and 9th
Northern Virginia: March 22nd and 23rd
Central Virginia (Richmond): April 5th and 6th
Out of town participants will be considered, however travel and lodging will not be covered.
Trainings are schedule upon the request of the affiliate or once sufficient interest warrants. Those wishing to be considered as a candidate should complete an application and connect with their local affiliate. If you are unable to reach someone with your local affiliate or have general questions regarding NAMI program trainings please contact Sarah Steadman, Director of Programs at 804-285-8264 x203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NAMI Family Support Group facilitators are certified by attending and graduating from a 2 -day training event. The training event is designed for facilitators to learn and practice specific skills that will guarantee a meaningful support group experience for all participants. After the training event, certified facilitators know how to encourage the group to make room for all of its voices; short-circuit personal sagas; engage the group in subjects of collective interest; encourage collective thought; and circumvent negative interactions by identifying common ground for real discussion among group participants. NAMI Family Support Group facilitators make use of the strategies, structures, and processes they have learned from the training events to ensure the group provides a place that is safe and maintains group guidelines.
For more assistance, please contact Director of Programs Sarah Steadman at email@example.com or (804) 285-8264 x203.
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services, the training is provided free of charge to participants.
What is a NAMI Family Support Group "Champion?"
In every community, NAMI will be looking for "Champions" to help ensure that NAMI Family Support Groups take root, grow, and flourish. Some of the tasks a champion might perform are as follows:
- Securing support group locations
- Assisting with securing transportation for facilitators
- Ensuring an adequate supply of resource materials and possibly refreshments for the groups
- Promoting the NAMI Family Support Groups in your community
Dedicated champions will help NAMI make history – by greatly increasing the number of people with mental illnesses whom we help and the number of people who learn about NAMI.
How can I become a NAMI Family Support Group "Champion" or learn more about these support groups in my community?
You can contact your local affiliate directly to let them know that you are interested in becoming a NAMI Family Support Group Champion.