NAMI Lake County Illinois will also continue to periodically offer Family-to-Family, an education course for the family members and close friends of individuals with brain disorders.

Family-to-Family is a peer family education program designed to foster learning, healing, and empowerment among families of individuals with serious brain disorders.

Course Description
The course is specifically designed for family members and close friends of individuals with brain disorders (mental illnesses). The NAMI Family-to-Family education course is free and consists of a series of 12 weekly classes, each lasting two and one-half hours. Classes in Illinois are taught by NAMI family member volunteers who have completed a NAMI Illinois three-day, 26 hour intensive teacher training.

Course Offerings
Information about illnesses of the brain and their treatment:

  • Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression), borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder; and co-occurring brain disorders and addictive disorders;
  • Current information: medications, side effects, and problems with medication compliance;
  • Discussion of the biological bases of brain disorders, treatment options and recovery.

Coping Skills

  • Gaining empathy by understanding what a person with a serious brain disorder experiences;
  • Problem solving, communication techniques; and handling periods of crisis and relapse;
  • Care for the caregiver: coping with worry, stress, and overload.


  • Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community.
  • Voicing concerns for appropriate state and federal policies; working to improve mental health services.
Next Class

Family to Family is offered in English twice a year. Please call 847-249-1515 for the next available class. To sign up for NAMI Familia A Familia (Family to Family) classes in Spanish, please call 224-818-6264. To find a class offered through another NAMI Illinois affiliate, view the Family-to-Family education page on the NAMI Illinois web site.

The NAMI Peer-to-Peer Education Course is a one week course on the topic of recovery for any person with serious mental illness who is interested in establishing and maintaining wellness. To find a class, view the Peer to Peer Education page on the NAMI Illinois website.

The NAMI In Our Own Voice program involves consumers who make educational presentations to a variety of audiences about mental illness. It is an opportunity to defuse the stigma that surrounds mental illness. To request a presentation, please call 847-249-1515 for a presentation in English or 224-818-6264 to request a presentation in Spanish.