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Reaching People, Teaching Facts


This is a free 12-week course for family and friends of individuals with mental illness.  Classes are taught by trained NAMI-CT family members and include:

  • Current information about the biology of mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders as well as addictive disorders; up-to-date information about medications, side effects and strategies for adherence; current research related to the biology of brain disorders and the evidence-based, most effective treatments to promote recovery.
  • Coping Skills: Gaining empathy by understanding the subjective, lived experience of a person with mental illness; learning in special workshops for problem solving, listening and communication techniques; acquiring strategies for handling crisis and relapse.
  • Care for the Caregiver: Coping with worry, stress and emotional overload; the power of advocacy, guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services.

Classes starting September 23rd, call Debbie at 203-592-5537 or email  Classes fill fast.  Don't lose your seat.

NAMI Basics

A new National education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses (very much modeled after Family to Family).  It was developed around elements that have been extensively tested and found to be highly effective in supporting parents, including incorporating the lived experiences of parents and caregivers.

Classes begin September 12th, call Debbie at 203-592-5537 ore email or call Mary at 203-725-6391.  Classes fill fast.  Don't lose your seat.

Provider Education is a 10-class educational program designed for front line staff at mental health agencies.  The course teaches mental health professionals about the challenges of mental illness and recovery from the perspectives of the person affected with the illness and his/her family members.  Provider Education is a powerful "stigma busting" tool with a capacity to not only change the mind and intellect of those who attend, but open the eyes and heart as well. 

“In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness”    

In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness presentation provides an example of recovery from severe mental illness in action.  Each program presenter has been through training to develop the skills to translate the story of their own recovery into truths and insights that will resonate with the audience.  We put a human face to mental illnesses and change the way people living with these no-fault brain disorders are perceived one community at a time.

This informational outreach presentation on recovery has reached thousands of people across Connecticut in the last three years.  Over 300 presentations have been completed, reaching audiences comprised of family members, students, professionals, law enforcement, senior centers, hospital nursing staff, and all persons wanting to learn more about mental illness. 

A brief video coupled with the personal testimonial of the presenter, a person in recovery, speak about the topics of Dark Days, Acceptance, Treatment, Coping, Successes, Hopes and Dreams.

If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, please contact Don Fischer at the NAMI-CT office.


A nine-week – two hours per week – experiential education course on the topic of recovery for any person with serious mental illness who is interested in establishing and maintaining wellness.  The Course uses a combination of lecture, interactive exercises and structured group processes.  The diversity of experience among course participants affords for a lively dynamic that moves the Course along.

Courses are taught by teams of three trained “mentors,” or peer-teachers, who are themselves experienced at living well with mental illness. 

Classes include: Stigma and discrimination, symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, panic disorder, OCD, thoughts, feelings, sleep, senses, behavior, story telling, language, emotions, addictions, spirituality, medication, coping strategies, decision making, relationships, empowerment and advocacy.  During the nine-week course participants will work on a relapse prevention plan and an advance directive as well.

Parents and Teachers As Allies

This program brings parents and teachers together within diverse communities to work in partnership to address the behavioral health needs of children in the classroom. NAMI-CT is part of a national pilot project that will test the effectiveness of the program which includes a 90 minute teacher's in-service presention given by a volunteer team consisting of a parent, teacher and person with behavioral health needs.  If you are interested in a presentation for your school or PTA please call Kim Pernerewski at 203-578-5447 or Paloma Dee at NAMI CT 1-800-215-3021.

NAMI Connections

NAMI Connection is a weekly recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each others’ experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding.


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