Program offers classes for families of mentally ill

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Arkansas will sponsor the Family-to-Family Program specifically for families of persons diagnosed with serious mental illness. The 12-week series of free classes will start in Pine Bluff from 7 to 9:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 25, at Central Presbyterian Church, 6300 Trinity Drive.

The free course will cover information about schizophrenia, mood disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression), panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder; coping skills such as handling crisis and relapse; basic information about medications; listening and communication techniques; problem-solving skills, recovery and rehabilitation; and self-care around worry and stress. The curriculum has been written by an experienced family member mental health professional and the course will be taught by NAMI-Arkansas family member volunteers who have taken intensive

training as course instructors. The co-teachers for the Pine Bluff area will be Marquitta Magnini and Connie Detmers.

The course is designed specifically for parents, siblings, spouses, adolescent and adult children and significant others of persons with severe and persistent mental illness. The course is not appropriate for individuals who themselves suffer from one of the major mental illnesses.

The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Course is free. For more information or to register, call Connie Detmers at (870) 879-4514 or Marquitta Magnini at (870) 550-0369 or contact NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program Director Kim Arnold at the NAMI-Arkansas office at 1-800-844-0381.