National Alliance on Mental Illness
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How To Get Involved

What is a NAMI Connection Support Group Facilitator?

A NAMI Connection facilitator is a trained NAMI leader who leads a NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group. They play an important role in ensuring that all participants feel welcomed and supported.

NAMI Connection facilitators are uniquely qualified to lead support groups because they are going through their own recovery process. They can empathize with and encourage those who are just beginning the journey to a renewed life.

A NAMI Connection 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 can I become a NAMI Connection Support Group Facilitator?

NAMI Connection facilitators are certified by attending and graduating from a 3-day training event.

The training event is designed for facilitators to learn and practice specific skills that will guarantee a meaningful support group experience for all participants.

After the training event, 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.

NAMI Connection support group facilitators make use of the strategies, structures, and processes they have learned from the training events 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.

Please visit the Latest News page for a current listing of upcoming facilitator training events. You will need to contact your NAMI state organization for information about training application, screening, and registration.

What is a NAMI Connection "Champion?"

In every community, NAMI will be looking for "Connection Champions" to help ensure that NAMI Connection recovery support groups take root, grow, and flourish. Some of the tasks a champion might perform are as follows:

  • Securing support group locations
  • Assisting with securing transportation for facilitators
  • Ensuring an adequate supply of resource materials and possibly refreshments for the groups
  • Promoting the NAMI Connection support groups in your community

Dedicated champions will help NAMI make history--by greatly increasing the number of people with mental illnesses whom we help and the number of people who learn about NAMI.

How can I become a NAMI Connection "Champion?"

Visit the support group listing for information on NAMI affiliates and state organizations that are or will soon offer the program.

Contact them directly and let them know you are interested in being a NAMI Connection Champion.