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Building Better Lives through Education and SupportNAMI Maryland offers a number of peer-led education and support programs for all those affected by serious mental illnesses.  


Our peer-led education programs give individuals living with mental illness and their families a place to turn, a place to access a strong network of education and support programs presented by trained teachers and facilitators who have "been there." You benefit from the unique wisdom of their own lived experience with mental illness.


Courses are offered by local NAMI affiliates with training support provided by NAMI Maryland. Please visit our events page or contact you local affiliate for more information.





NAMI Family-to-Family is a free eight-week course for family caregivers of individuals with mental illnesses. NAMI-trained family members teach the course and all materials are free for class participants. The curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and borderline personality disorder, with a new resource on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The course discusses treatment for these illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope with the challenges of living with a relative with a mental illness.




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NAMI Family Support Groups are for relatives, caregivers, and others involved with individuals with mental illness. The support groups are run by local affiliates and have facilitators trained by NAMI in order to provide a structure which encourages full group participation. Support groups provide a caring atmosphere for individuals to share their common experiences and assist individuals in developing the skills for understanding and the strengths needed to cope.



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NAMI Basics is a free, signature education program for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents who are experiencing symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years. NAMI-trained parents and caregivers teach the 6-week course and all materials are free for participants. The course focuses on ADHD, ODD, CD, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia, OCD and Substance Use Disorders. During the six weeks topics such as brain development, current research, treatment, resources in the community and crisis and relapse prevention are discussed. Participants that complete the course leave with the fundamentals to care for their family and children with mental illness. Last year, 99% of participants said they would recommend this program to other parents.


Nami Family and Friends

NAMI Family & Friends is a 4-hours seminar that informs and supports people who have loved ones with a mental health condition.  Participants learn about diagnoses, treatment, recovery, communication strategies, crisis preparation and NAMI resources.  Seminar leaders have personal experience with mental health conditions in their families.







NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free course consisting of eight two-hour classes and is taught by a team of trained mentors who are experienced at living well with mental illness.  NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a class for adults with mental health conditions.  The course is designed to encourage growth, healing, and recovery among participants.




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NAMI Connection is a 90-minute support group run by persons who live with mental illness for other persons who live with mental illness. The program includes NAMI-trained peer facilitators and employs principles of support designed to empower its members. This program focuses on allowing all participants to share their experiences and learn from each other in a safe and confidential environment. NAMI Connection is not illness-specific, and welcomes persons with all psychiatric diagnoses.






NAMI In Our Own Voice is a presentation about living with mental illness by intensively trained individuals who tell their stories to educate the community, providers and others living with mental illness.




NAMI Ending the Silence is a presentation designed for middle and high school students, school staff, and parents or guardians of middle or high school aged youth.  Audiences learn about the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, how to recognize the early warning signs and the importance of acknowledging those warning signs.  If you are interested in taking part in NAMI Ending the Silence, fill out this short interest form.




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Never thought of yourself as an advocate? Want to make a positive change in mental health services? Grassroots advocacy is simple; you don't have to know about policies or politics. It's about using your voice to influence policy makers and make a difference. Turn your passion and your lived experience into a positive voice for mental health with the NAMI Smarts for Advocacy grassroots advocacy training.



NAMI Homefront


NAMI Homefront is a 6-session adaptation of the Evidence-Based NAMI Family-to-Family Program created specifically for the families of Service Members and Veterans dealing with mental illness. NAMI Maryland was selected to pilot this program because of the success we have had reaching military families.


NAMI Homefront focuses on the unique needs of military and veteran communities, such as post-deployment and post-discharge transitions. The course is designed to help family members understand and support their loved one while maintaining their own well-being.



NAMI is pleased to join the #FirstRespondersFirst initiative to support frontline health care and public safety professionals facing the adverse mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This community-centered initiative is called NAMI Frontline Wellness.  Click here for more information.