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Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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How can my family learn about my illness?

Your family may feel anger, confusion, guilt, shame and fear about your illness.  Those feelings are common to many relatives of people with  mental illness.  It is important that families share their feelings with other families and that they do not get upset because they feel that no one understands what they are going through.  The following information will help families to know where to go to learn more about  mental illness.  

Online s for Family Support

The best way for your family members to learn more about your illness and how it makes you feel and behave is to read things on this website.  Learn more about the disease of schizophrenia and understanding bipolar disorder.  Your family can also join a family support to find out more about your illness.  There is a support for family members of people with schizophrenia.  The nice thing about these s is that you and your family can use them at any time and do not have to leave home to do this.

Face-to-Face s for Family Support:  The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).

If your family would prefer to go to a that meets in person, they can attend one of the s run by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).  The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill is the national voice on mental illness, information, advocacy and support.  The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate on the behalf of persons with mental illness, their families and friends.  The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has support s all over the country.  To locate one near you, can call the national helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Family-to-Family Education Program

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Family-to-Family Education program is a free 12-week course for family members of people with schizophrenia and other serious mental illness.  This program offers education and skills training to the family so they can better understand and help relatives with serious mental illness.  These classes are small.  Trained family members teach them.   Your family will:

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Get more information about  mental illness and how you feel.

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Learn what to do if you get sick again.

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Get information about your medications and their side effects.

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Get information about contacting community services and community support.

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Learn how to listen and communicate as a family.

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Learn how to solve problems and how to set limits as a family.

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Learn how to take care of themselves and other members of the family.

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Learn that other families share their feelings and emotions.

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Learn how to handle worry and stress in the family.

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Learn how to get better services for people with  mental illness.

Family-to-Family classes are offered in hundreds of communities all around the country.