NAMI Connections

What People are Saying About the Program

NAMI Connection has made me realize that I can truly feel comfortable around my peers and I really needed that feeling!”

The support I get from the other group members has pulled me through so many rough times in my life.”

Overview

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Groups are free, confidential, and safe, 90-minute weekly support groups open to anyone with a mental health diagnosis. Groups follow a flexible structure without an educational format. Individuals join a caring group of peers that offer support through their learned wisdom and participants can share as much or as little personal information as they wish.

Research has shown that having someone to talk to is instrumental in the mental health recovery process. Too often, mental illness is an isolating experience. Recovery is possible but often requires a connection with community—a community that offers support, encouragement, and insight. NAMI Connection is meant to be only one avenue to recovery for people with mental illness. Support groups should add to and not replace the treatment plan determined by the individual and their mental health care provider.Groups do not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies.

Program Goals

To support and empower. The goal of NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is to offer a regularly occurring opportunity to share the challenges and successes of coping with a mental health condition and to receive support and informal recommendations through a truly peer environment. Groups offer respect, understanding, encouragement and hope.

Who leads the Program

A NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group facilitator is a trained NAMI leader. They play an important role in ensuring that all participants feel welcomed and supported. NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group facilitators are uniquely qualified to lead support groups because they are going through their own recovery process. Facilitators therefore can empathize with and encourage those who are just beginning the journey to a renewed life. A NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group facilitator ensures that the group shares responsibility for maintaining guidelines, sustains clear participant boundaries, clarifies goals, and reinforces communication skills that encourage group participation.

How to Find the Program in Your Local Community

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How to Give Back

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group facilitators are volunteers who become certified by attending and graduating from a 2 day training. The training is designed for facilitators to learn and practice specific skills that will guarantee a meaningful support group experience for all participants. After the training, 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. Facilitators make use of the strategies, structures, and processes they have learned from the training to ensure the group provides a place that is safe and maintains group guidelines. Facilitator trainees are required to go through an application and screening process before being approved to attend a training event. For more information on how to get started, please contact your local affiliate.

Support a local NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group in your community. Our groups utilize volunteers and we are always in need of free spaces to host meetings, promotional assistance and monetary or in-kind donations to offset the costs of resource materials, trainings and refreshments. Contact your local affiliate to learn how you can assist.