News and Events

Join the NAMI ROCKS Fan Club!

Join the NAMI ROCKS Fan Club! Music does much more than just get us tapping our toes. The right songs ease stress, lift spirits, instill hope and bring us together. That’s why we released the “NAMI ROCKS” video, featuring our board member and singer/songwriter, Mathew Sipple, DO, to inspire people in the community to have a positive view of mental health.

Amid a global pandemic, economic upheaval, domestic unrest and more, we all needed “a little help from our friends” to get by this year.  Join the NAMI Rocks Fan Club by donating online at NAMIerie.org today!

Mental Health First Aid Certification Courses in April and May

FREE YOUTH Mental Health Instructor Course is being offered through NAMI of Erie County. May 31st – June 2nd.  This is a three-day, eight-hour virtual training course to obtain your Instructors Certification to teach Youth Mental Health First Aid. Spots are filling up fast.

NAMI of Erie County is also offering FREE Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Certification Courses .  Adult Mental Health First Aid Training is scheduled for Wednesday, May 12th and Friday, May 21st .  Youth Mental Health First Aid Training will be held April 28th, May 19th, and May 26th.  Classes will begin at 8:30 a.m. and run until roughly 5:00 p.m.  There are a few breaks throughout.  Right now, we are planning on keeping all MHFA sessions virtual via Zoom.  There is no charge for these certifications.  If you are interested in registering for one of these courses, register at NAMIerie.org/programs or call the office at (814) 456-1773.


Mental Health First Aid Certification Courses

FREE Mental Health First Aid Certification Courses
NAMI of Erie County is offering FREE Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Certification Courses
throughout the month of February. If you are interested in registering for one of these courses
register at www.NAMIerie.org or call our office (814) 456-1773.  These courses are typically scheduled
8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Adult Mental Health First Aid:
Thursday, February 10th
Wednesday, February 17th
Friday, March 5th
Friday, March 12th
Friday, March 24th

Youth Mental Health First Aid:

Wednesday, February 4th
Wednesday, February 24th
Wednesday, March 3rd
Wednesday, March 10th
Wednesday, March 17th

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.

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