NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a recovery-focused educational program for adults working to establish and maintain wellness in response to mental health challenges. The course provides critical information and strategies related to living with mental illness. Each class contains a combination of lecture and interactive exercise material, and closes with Mindfulness Practice. Each class builds on the one before: attendance to each week is strongly recommended.

Peer-to-Peer is taught by a trained team of individuals living in recovery from mental illness, and takes place over 10 class sessions of 2 hours each. This peer-led course provides a confidential place to learn from shared experiences in an environment of sincere, uncritical acceptance. No specific medication or medical therapy is endorsed or recommended. Participation in this course gives individuals the opportunity to gain tangible resources – personalized plans, strategies for potential events in the future and other information – as well as a deeper understanding of your personal recovery process.

Peer-to-Peer has allowed me to take the focus off my illness and learn to balance it with the rest of my life. By engaging in recovery I am able to be more relaxed and productive both at work and home.

Course Overview (Click to expand)

  • Welcome
    Course orientation
    Questions and answers

  • Icebreaker
    Group ground rules
    Discussion on course values
    Mental illnesses as traumatic experiences
    Consumer stages of recovery

  • "It's not my fault" - mental illnesses as no-blame disorders
    Brain biology and research
    The challenges and benefits of medication
    Relapse prevention
    Creative visualization

  • Storytelling - sharing of personal experiences

  • Information and discussion about:
    Bipolar Disorder
    Schizoaffective Disorder
    Borderline Personality Disorder
    Relapse prevention continued
    Accounts of wisdom and strength

  • Information and discussions about:
    • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    • Panic Disorder
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Dual Diagnosis

    Relapse prevention continued
    Substance abuse and addiction
    The role of acceptance in recovery

  • Understanding emotions
    Complete relapse prevention
    Focusing on experiences of joy
    Physical health and mental health

  • Suicide and prevention
    Coming out of isolation
    Mental illness and disclosure
    Take-home tool for making difficult choices
    Surviving a hospital stay
    Advance Directive for Mental Healthcare Decision Making

  • Guest speaker
    Hot buttons and triggers
    Working with providers
    Advance Directive continued
    Incarceration - survival and preparedness

  • Another look at consumer stages of recovery:
    Opportunities for involvement in NAMI

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