In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
NAMI Connection Facilitator Training Schedule
Contact your local affiliate if you are interested in becoming a facilitator of a NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group.
NAMI Connection Recovery
Support Group Program is a peer-based,
mutual support group model. The vision is that every person in this country who
lives with a mental illness will have, within reasonable driving distance, a
NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group to attend.
NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is
an alliance of individuals who have in common the experience of living with
mental illness. It provides a place to share our experiences and use them as
learning opportunities for ourselves and others. Connection groups are a safe
space to confront the challenges that all consumers face, regardless of
diagnosis: low self-esteem; social isolation; dual diagnosis; stigma and
Connection Facilitators are
individuals living with mental illnesses and are at a point in recovery where
they want to “give back” to others. They attend an intense training designed
to help them develop the skills they need to facilitate a NAMI Connection
Recovery Support Group.
Apply to be selected to attend trainings
and include a reference in their application
Receive skill training in the NAMI
Connection Recovery Support Group model
Are volunteer NAMI members
Co-facilitate weekly 90 minute groups
– work in pairs (A minimum of 2 people need to be trained for each support
Commit to a minimum of one year of
Commit to fidelity to the NAMI Connection
note: Attending a training does not
guarantee becoming certified as a facilitator. Prior to training, each trainee
applies and participates in a screening interview.
meeting days and times should be arranged with your affiliate prior to
facilitators going to trainings, if possible. This way, facilitators can begin
groups directly after training. Local leaders are instrumental in making these
arrangements with the site and the facilitators.
· Is co-facilitated by a team of 2 trained facilitators
· Meets weekly for 90 minutes
· Is offered free of charge
Follows a flexible structure without an
· Does not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies…
should be in solid recovery and willing to commit to facilitating and
maintaining, for at least one year, a Connection Group in their community.
Trainees must be NAMI members! If they have past leadership or Peer
Support experience, that is icing on the cake. It is recommended that
all facilitators have their location, date and time of their groups in place
The training is challenging. It is an intensive three-day weekend of very long days. All potential trainees will be screened by NAMI Illinois following the pre-screening by the affiliate. Participants must attend the entire training.
In the course of Connection meetings, it sometimes happens that people express safety concerns. Please be aware that Connection members may at times indicate that they are a threat to themselves or others. Connection Facilitators must be well enough to face these indications of stress while maintaining their own recovery and mental health. Facilitators are trained in how to use the Connection leadership tools to help keep everyone safe.
Ongoing Facilitator support in the form of free, monthly teleconference support calls, plus cost-free consultation with NAMI prevent Facilitator burn-out and help minimize the stresses of Connection leadership.
The Training consists of lectures, book work, group discussions and role-playing in front of smaller breakout groups… sometimes Trainees feel like they aren’t “getting it” and even like they won’t “pass” the Training. The Trainers know this and can provide a certain degree of emotional support. There are scheduled breaks for meals and snacks and relaxation—for this very reason.