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Family Support Groups
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?
Currently in Virginia there are Family Support Groups forming or running in the following localities. To find details on your communities support group please refer to our calendar.
- 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. To learn more about support groups being offered in your community plesae refer to our calendar.
How can I become a NAMI Family Support Group Facilitator?
A NAMI Family Support Group facilitator is a trained NAMI member. They play an important role in ensuring that all participants feel welcomed and supported. NAMI Family Support Group facilitators are uniquely qualified to lead support groups because they have personal insight and similar experiences of living with a family member or loved one living with a mental illness. They can empathize with and encourage those who are just beginning the journey.
Thank you to everyone who attended the October training, it was a huge success!
NAMI Virginia will offer a training for Family Support Group Facilitators September 28-29, 2013 in Richmond VA
To apply to become a Connections Recovery Support Group Facilitator, please complete an application and contact your local affiliate and ask for the local Connection Coordinator. If you have questions related to training please contact Sarah Eisenman, 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 3-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 Eisenman 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.