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NAMI Basics: New Study on the Importance of Education and Support

NAMI is pleased to announce the publication of a recent research study on the NAMI Basics Education Program in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. The study was conducted in collaboration with NAMI Mississippi and NAMI Tennessee between 2008 and 2010 and found that NAMI Basics produces “significant improvement” for families in communication and coping skills.

Specifically, the study found that:

Parents and caregivers who participated in the study reported improvements in self-care and empowerment, based on information and about resources, parenting strategies and self-advocacy.
Participants “also experienced a reduction in inflammatory communications,” through control of anger, preemption of problems and being highly specific about expectations.
Participants did not report changes in “affirmational communications” within the family. However, this may simply reflect the emphasis of the curriculum.

NAMI Basics is now available in 36 states. To see the complete study please visit the NAMI Basics Web page.



NAMI Basics Education Program
The fundamentals of caring for you, your family and your child with mental illness

What is NAMI Basics?

NAMI Basics is the new signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illnesses.  The program was developed around elements that have been extensively tested and found to be highly effective in the field, including:

Recognition of mental illness as a continuing traumatic event for the child and the family
Sensitivity to the subjective emotional issues faced by family caregivers and well children in the family
Recognition of the need to help ameliorate the day-to-day objective burdens of care and management
Gaining confidence and stamina for what can be a lifelong role of family understanding and support
Empowerment of family caregivers as effective advocates for their children

The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years.  All instruction and course materials are free to class participants.

What are the goals of the NAMI Basics program?

  1. To give the parent/caregiver the fundamental information necessary to be an effective caregiver.
  2. To help the parent/caregiver cope with the traumatic impact that mental illness has on the child living with the illness and the entire family.
  3. To provide tools for the parent/caregiver to use even after completing the program that will assist in making the best decisions possible for the care of the child.
  4. To help the parent/caregiver take the best care possible of the entire family – especially themselves.

What does the course include?

Introduction to the normative stages of emotional reactions of the family to the trauma of mental illness
Insights into an empathic understanding of the subjective, lived experience of the child living with the mental illness
Current information about Attention Deficit Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorders
Current research related to the biology of mental illness and the evidence-based, most effective treatment strategies available, including medications used to treat mental illness in children and adolescents
Specific workshops to learn problem solving, listening and communication skills
Examples of strategies that have been found helpful in handling challenging behaviors in children and adolescents
Information about the systems that are major players in the lives of children and adolescents with mental illness – the school system and the mental health system
Exposure to personal record keeping systems that have proven to be effective for parents/caregivers in their interactions with the school and healthcare systems
Information on planning for crisis management and relapse
Information on locating appropriate supports and services within the community
Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services, with an emphasis on personal advocates for the parent/caregiver and child on an individual level


NAMI Illinois affiliates currently offering NAMI Basics:

NAMI Champaign County
NAMI Cook County North Suburban
NAMI Kane south, DeKalb and Kendall Counties
NAMI DuPage County  
NAMI McHenry County
NAMI Metro Suburban 
NAMI Northern Illinois
NAMI Livingston/McLean Counties
NAMI Southwestern Illinois
NAMI Springfield
NAMI Stephenson County
NAMI Tri-County


Current NAMI Basic Courses in Illinois 

April 1 - May 6, 2015 in Edwardsville, Illinois.  To register call 618-798-9788.

April 6, 2015 in Rockford.  To register call NAMI Northern IL 815-963-2470

April 9, 2015 in Winfield, IL.  Anyone interested can register online at www.namidupage.org or call (630) 752-0066

May 9 - June 13, 2015 in Aurora, Illinois.  To register call 630-896-6264 or 630-947-4430.




















Click here for the Basics Teacher Training Application