NAMI of Erie County offers a variety of programs and services to better educate and support the community in regards to mental health. Through our classes, support groups, Mental Health First Aid trainings, community presentations and more, there are many ways that individuals can find support and education.
Family-to-Family is a free, eight-week educational course for family members and loved ones of adults experiencing mental health challenges. The course provides participants with comprehensive information on mental illness. Family-to-Family teaches self-care, problem-solving skills, and communication skills which can later be taught to the entire family unit. Classes are taught by trained mentors, or family teachers, who have faced the challenges of a loved one living with mental illness, treatments, medication, and rehabilitation.
Peer-to-Peer is a free, eight-week educational program for adults experiencing mental health challenges who are looking to better understand mental wellness and their journey to recovery. The course is designed to encourage growth, healing, and recovery among participants. Peer-to-Peer mentors provide support and compassion from shared experiences, and the curriculum includes presentations, discussions, and interactive exercises. Participants learn communication skills and workforce development skills, and create an advanced directive and relapse prevention plan.
NAMI Basics is a free, six-week educational program for parents and caregivers who have a child (ages 3-17) facing mental and behavioral health challenges. The course teaches participants about mental illness and behavioral disorders, treatments available for their child, how the mental health system works, proper advocacy techniques, and the importance of caring for yourself in addition to caring for your family and child.
All of the support groups we offer at NAMI take place in an intimate, confidential setting and allow individuals to share their experiences with each other.
Our family support group allows families to share their experiences as well as supports long-term recovery for families.
Our peer support groups allow those experiencing a mental health challenge to share their stories and receive support from others.
Exploring the Arts
Exploring the Arts is an eight-class program for children and students to learn the foundations of mental health and wellness, and encourage self-help. Classes include artistic and creative activities such as movement, coloring, painting, reading, journaling and more. This program is only able to be facilitated in a partnership with schools and youth-serving organizations.
Mental Health First Aid
All Mental Health First Aid courses teach individuals how to identify, understand, and properly respond to signs of mental health challenges and mental health crises. This training goes over risk factors, warning signs for crises, and where to turn for help. We offer all three types of Mental Health First Aid courses here at NAMI of Erie County.
Adult Mental Health First Aid is designed for adults who are looking to better help other adults adults experiencing mental health challenges/crises in their community.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed for adults who are looking to help young people (under 18) experiencing mental health challenges/crises in their community.
teen Mental Health First Aid is designed for teens in grades 10-12 to be better equipped to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges/crises in their peers.
Mental Health Presentations
NAMI of Erie County is also able to provide presentations on various mental health topics to schools, workplaces, community organizations, and more. Some popular presentation topics include general mental health and wellness, suicide prevention and awareness, mental health in the workplace, and resilience.