News and Events

February 2021: Loving Yourself in the Month of Love

Join NAMI on Wednesday, February 17th at 3:00 p.m. as we’ll be on Mission Empower’s podcast to discuss Self-Care and Self-Love. For more information or to register, please contact Mission Empower at (814) 825-0788.

Learning to love ourselves or nurturing the love we have for ourselves is a critical component that must happen for our own happiness.  Additionally, it is a critical component of healthy relationships with others.  Below we have identified ways to begin your journey to finding self-love or nurturing your self-love.

Practice Forgiveness – At the heart of pain is anger, and the result of anger is a disconnect from self and others.  By holding on to anger, whether it is anger at ourselves or anger at others, we must learn to forgive.

Practice Healthy Boundaries – Being safe and comfortable – it’s something we can so easily take for granted, and it’s what we notice immediately when we don’t have it.

Finding Your “You” – What makes us “us” is defined by so many different factors.  During our adolescence we explore the world around us to help discover those things that we most relate to, find enjoyment in, and connect with.

Practicing Self Care – Just like our bodies need food, exercise, vitamins, medical care, and possibly even medications, it is also crucial that our minds and spirits receive the same care and attention.               WRITTEN BY ANONYMOUS (NOT VERIFIED) ON FEBRUARY 10, 2020


Music does much more than just get us tapping our toes. The right songs ease stress, lift spirits, instill hope, bring us together. A series of NAMI Rocks commercials debuted in January kicking off our NAMI Rocks campaign. These commercials are meant to inspire people in the community to have a positive view on mental health. Just like with music, each of us responds to life’s challenges in a different way. That is why NAMI of Erie County is here, providing free mental health education to anyone in need. That is also why we need you – “Our fans” – to help raise awareness and support our work!  Please register online or call (814) 456-1773 to register for one of our courses today!

NAMI Homefront

NAMI Homefront is a six-week course designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers, and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program provides education about mental illness, understanding of the mental health system, and self-care for family members and friends.

Tragically, since the invasion of Afghanistan, more military service members have died by suicide than combat. A diagnosis of mental illness results in immediate discharge from active duty, which may explain why only half of all service personnel with mental health concerns seek treatment. This has an impact on families, often leaving them confused, angry, and lost in trying to find help for their loved one.

NAMI Homefront, funded by Roar on the Shore, is scheduled to begin Wednesday, September 16 at the NAMI office, 1611 Peach Street, Suite 218, or can be taken virtually. The time of the class will be confirmed upon registration. For more information, or to register, call (814) 456-1773.

Community Presentations

Starting this month, NAMI is holding community presentations at our office with Joyous Spirit Yoga. The group will meet every Thursday at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Throughout the class, participants will learn how their feelings, emotions, and way of doing things are based on beliefs they have about life, where those beliefs came from, and tools to help them not just survive but thrive.

The course is based on the book “The Four Agreements” written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Each class covers a new agreement. Classes will cover breathing techniques, as well as discussions to help participants understand what each agreement means.

Week one, which occurred on September 3, focused on The First Agreement: Be impeccable with your word. Week two, happening September 10, will focus on the Second Agreement: Don’t take anything personally.

Week three, happening September 17, will focus on the Third Agreement: Don’t make assumptions. Week four, happening September 24, will focus on the Fourth Agreement: Always do your best and the new dream.

You can access this free course through Zoom with Meeting ID 371 424 9043. For more information, please call our office at (814) 456-1773.

NAMI Support Groups

NAMI offers a variety of educational programming throughout the year that is offered at no cost to participants. This fall, we are adding more support groups to our calendar to better assist the Erie community.

Art Support Group is held at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This group is a traditional support group infused with art and literary activities to help facilitate discussion.

Both Sides of the Couch gives participants the opportunity to hear from Dr. Matt Sipple and Julie Mannarino, LCSW. They provide an unbiased view on the Coronavirus, mental wellness, the future, and everything in between. This group meets every first Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. and third Thursday at 4 p.m.

Mental Wellness Wednesdays are hosted by Charles Brown and held at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.

Peer and Family Support Groups can be accessed both in-person and online. Peer Support Group is held at 6 p.m. every first and third Monday of the month. Family Support Group is held at 6 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of the month.

The COVID-19 Support Group benefits anyone experiencing heightened symptoms of depression or anxiety during COVID-19. It can be accessed weekdays at noon.

There is no registration or formal diagnosis required for any support groups. All groups are free of cost to participants and can be accessed on the homepage of NAMIerie.org. For more information, call (814) 456-1773.

Enroll in NAMI’s Fall 2020 Programming Today!

NAMI offers a variety of educational programming throughout the year that is offered at no cost to participants. This fall, we are holding Family-to-Family, NAMI Basics, and the pilot session of NAMI Homefront.

“I’ve taught both the Family-to-Family and NAMI Basics programs many times,” says Christina Halli, NAMI program facilitator, “and, as both a graduate of these programs and instructor, I can say they have not only made a tremendous positive difference for my own family, but on hundreds of other families in our community, as well.”

NAMI’s Family-to-Family program is scheduled to begin this September at St. John’s Lutheran church in Girard located at 8942 West Ridge Road. The NAMI Basics program and NAMI Homefront program will both be held at our office located at 1611 Peach Street, Suite 218.

NAMI Homefront is a six-week program for family members, friends, and caregivers who have a veteran or active-duty loved one facing mental health challenges. This course provides families with mental health education, new communication strategies, empathy-building workshops, and self-care techniques.

It also provides information and skills on how to access benefits that their loved one has earned through their service. The class is taught by fellow military family members who have the lived experience to help participants.

“As a veteran myself, I know this class will provide families with a greater understanding of the unique challenges we veterans face,” says Halli. “The education provided through this program will bring families closer together, increase the quality of life for all involved and eliminate stigma throughout the community.”

The fall session of NAMI Homefront, funded by Roar on the Shore, begins Wednesday, September 16. There is no formal diagnosis required.
For more information about any NAMI programs, or to register, call (814) 456-1773.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants how to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental illness, and Youth Mental Health First Aid focuses on helping young people experiencing mental health challenges.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed for adults working with young people such as parents, caregivers, teachers, and other caring citizens that want to help. It’s beneficial for crisis and non-crisis situations.

All classes are held at the NAMI office from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Available
dates include:

  • Friday, August 14
  • Friday, August 21
  • Friday, August 28 (YMHFA)

Trainings are free to the public, however registration is required. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you will receive a confirmation email if you are registered.

For more information, call NAMI at (814) 456-1773.

NAMI Homefront

The transition from war to civilian life isn’t easy for soldiers or their families. They can feel alone. And that’s why we created NAMI Homefront. Homefront is a free program that helps veterans and families bring recovery to light. You get advice and encouragement from military families who’ve been through it themselves. They don’t have to be in the dark.

This six-week program focuses on providing mental health education for family members, friends, and loved ones of veterans and active-duty service members who are experiencing mental health
challenges. Through this course, participants gain a better understanding of the challenges their loved one is facing, information on mental illnesses, including an emphasis on post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

It also includes ways to advocate for treatment and support their loved one has earned through their service. Lastly, it includes self care strategies for participants to learn how to empower themselves to continue supporting their loved one.

NAMI Homefront is beginning its pilot session in Erie on Wednesday, September 16.

(L-R) The Halli Family- Bill, Hannah, Jack, and Christina Halli- and Denise L. Kolivoski, MBA, NAMI of Erie County’s Executive Director

Mental Health First Aid

NAMI is continuing to offer MHFA and Youth MHFA to the Erie community! These trainings are entirely free to the public, but seating will be limited, so be sure to register.
We are following all guidelines given for social distancing to ensure the safety of participants and instructors.
Class sizes will be limited to eight participants per class. We have spots available for the following training dates:

  • Friday, July 17
  • Friday, July 24
  • Friday, July 31
  • Friday, August 14
  • Friday, August 21

MHFA and Youth MHFA help participants to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental illness. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you will receive a confirmation email if you are registered.

Keep up with NAMI news and events, or take the next step and become a member.


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