NAMI Basics

NAMI Basics is a free, six-week educational program for parents or loved ones of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of mental illness or are already diagnosed. Our program educates families about mental illness and available resources for their child. Trained instructors inform parents about effective treatments, such as therapies and medications, to help their loved one.

The program uses a holistic approach which considers the entire family’s needs. Our instructors strive to improve the family’s well-being and understanding of mental illness as a whole. Last year, 99% of participants said that they would recommend the program to other parents. Through presentations, discussions, and interactive exercises, we empower caregivers to compassionately strengthen their family and enhance their life.

What You’ll Gain

Our instructors are caregivers of children with mental illness, so they empathize with each family’s situation and provide helpful advice on managing their loved one’s symptoms. NAMI Basics is a safe space in which group members support one another and freely share their experiences. We help families gain hope and believe in their child’s journey towards recovery.

NAMI Basics Covers

  • Treatment options such as medications, support groups, and evidence-based therapies
  • Managing crisis situations, problem solving, and communicating effectively
  • An overview of the biological basis and symptoms of mental illness
  • Taking care of yourself and handling your stress in a positive way
  • Advocating for your child’s rights in school and health care settings
  • An overview of public mental health care, school, and juvenile justice systems
  • Understanding the challenges and impact of mental illness on all family members
  • Developing the confidence and stamina to support your child with compassion

Sign Up for a Class

If you are interested in enrolling in our next session of programming, you can register by calling the NAMI of Erie County Office (814) 456-1773, or you can register online here.


Partially funded by