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NAMI San Diego

5095 Murphy Canyon Road

Suite 320

San Diego, CA 92123

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What is the NAMI Basics Education Program for Professionals?

NAMI Basics is a free, six-session program designed for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents under age 18 with emotional and behavioral difficulties. NAMI Basics helps parents and other family caregivers of children to understand the illnesses that are causing those behavioral difficulties, and the critical role families play in the treatment of those illnesses. The program is taught by trained teachers who are also the parents or family caregivers of individuals who experienced emotional or behavioral difficulties prior to age 13.

NAMI San Diego is now offering a chance for behavioral health professionals working in the Children, Youth and Families (CYF) Behavioral Health (BH) System of Care (SOC) to help them understand the impact that mental health conditions have on the youth as well as the families they serve. This is a rare opportunity for mental health clinicians, counselors, therapists, social workers, educators and program staff that do NOT have lived experience as a parent or primary caregiver of a youth with behavioral health needs to learn the unique nature of the family experience. The information shared in NAMI Basics will equip CYFBHSOC program staff with unique insights that can enable them to work more collaboratively with families as part of the treatment team.

Please Note: This class will run for six consequetive weeks on Friday mornings beginning January 5, 2018 from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm. Participants are requested to attend all six sessions as course material builds on previous lessons throughout the class.

Family Participant Perspectives

  • “This is such a great step by step program that walks parents every step of the way. It is as if you are holding their hand through it all.”

  • “The course is inclusive of almost all aspects of family and child resources. I could have spent a lifetime getting all this information on my own. I feel supported, strong and ready to go forward.”

  • “NAMI Basics bridges the gap. It provides help that can’t be found in a doctor’s office.”

What You’ll Gain

At NAMI Basics, you'll find out that you're not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope. The group setting of NAMI Basics provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You also can help others with your own experience.
NAMI Basics covers:

  • Managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively
  • How to take care of yourself and handle stress
  • Developing the confidence and stamina to support your child with compassion
  • Advocating for your child's rights at school and in healthcare settings
  • Learning about current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications, and side effects
  • Gaining an overview of the public mental health care, school, and juvenile justice systems and supporting resources to help you navigate these systems
  • Understanding the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on your entire family


FAQs

What is the difference between a “regular” NAMI Basics class and a NAMI Basics class provided to professional caregivers?

There is no difference in content. All 6 sessions are taught in their entirety, by trained NAMI Basics teachers. The following modifications are made when the audience is professional caregivers:

During the discussion portions of the classes, Basics teachers share what parents tell us when we pose the discussion topics. For example:

Discussion question: “How did it feel for you when you finally had a diagnosis for your child’s symptoms?”

Basics teacher response: “For me, it was a relief. Other parents who have taken this course tell us that it is helpful to finally have a name for what is going on; to know that there actually is something causing the behavior and that it can be treated.”

During stories in Class 3, participants are asked to share a story about their experiences with a child that they have worked with and how it impacted them.

Is it ok to just to invite professional caregivers to our regular NAMI Basics class?

No; this has not changed. We never allow anyone into our signature peer education programs (Basics, Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, or Homefront) who do not have the lived experience. This is to ensure a safe, judgment-free environment for participants to be open and honest about their emotional reactions to the challenges of mental health conditions. However, the NAMI Basics for Professionals program allows caregivers an opportunity to understand the impact that mental health conditions have on the youth as well as the families they serve.

Why would we offer a 6-session class too busy professional caregivers?

When NAMI Basics classes are advertised in communities, routinely there are requests from daycare workers, youth court staff, child protective services staff and other professional caregivers to attend so that they can learn more about the families they are working with. Because these requests are so common, approval was given to pilot the course, as it is written, with professional caregivers in NAMI New York City Metro several years ago. It was such a success that they offer this option several times a year. It has resulted in a better-equipped group of professional caregivers and has also increased the number of families referred by these professionals to the NAMI Basics classes for parents.

What if I have more questions about this?

Contact Valerie Hebert, CYF Liaison Family Specialist Trainer and NAMI Basics Instructor at ValerieHebert@namisd.org or 858-634-6580 x 120

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NAMI San Diego

5095 Murphy Canyon Road

Suite 320

San Diego, CA 92123

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