Supporting loved ones with mental illness

Mission | October 4, 2018

A new initiative to educate and support the family and friends of loved ones with a mental health condition will be held this month at St. Paul.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is rolling out a four-hour training for people searching for answers on how to better manage through the challenges faced by partners, siblings, children, co-workers, friends. St. Paul will be the host for one of the first sessions to be held nationwide. The session, which organizers hope to hold monthly at locations throughout the Quad Cities, is a more condensed version of an 8- to 12-week training NAMI periodically offers.

“Anyone who has a loved one or who is dealing with any one with a mental health condition is welcome,” said Vicki Walters, support and education programs coordinator for NAMI of the Greater Mississippi Valley. “It’s a great chance to meet others who are having the same or similar situation.”

The no-cost seminar is set for Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at St. Paul. Registration is at or by calling 563-386-7477, ext. 266.

The class will be led by trained people with lived experience of supporting a family member with a mental health condition. They will cover understanding diagnoses, treatment and recovery, effective communication strategies, the importance of self-care, crisis preparation strategies, and NAMI and community resources.

Some of the mental health conditions to be discussed include depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and panic and anxiety disorder, Walters said.

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