NAMI's Family-to-Family Education program "significantly" improves coping and problem-solving abilities of family members of individuals living with mental illness, according to a landmark study published in the current issue of Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.
Family-to-Family is a free 12-week self-help course offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in which trained instructors who have family members living with mental illness teach coping and
Led by Lisa B. Dixon, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the study found that the NAMI classes increase knowledge about mental illness and "empowerment within the family, the service system and the
NAMI's Family-to-Family program offers "concrete practical benefits" and demonstrates the value of free,
"NAMI has long had confidence in Family-to-Family as a signature
"Doctors and other mental health care workers are often unable to provide enough
The study coincides with the 20th anniversary of NAMI's Family-to-Family program. An estimated 250,000 family members have taken the classes to date.
Over 3,500 trained volunteers teach classes in the
Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the study evaluated the effectiveness of classes in five counties in the culturally diverse Greater Washington, D.C. and Baltimore area, involving 318 participants recruited between 2006 and 2009.
The study was presented at NAMI's annual convention in
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