The Family Advocate is a trained family member familiar with issues faced by families impacted by mental health disorders. The Family Advocate can assist families who are trying to understand and deal with the impact of serious mental health disorders on their family. The advocate provides assistance in understanding and navigating the local public and private mental health systems and how to access various clinical and support services available in our community and can also offer one-on-one support in times of crisis. Services are available in English or Spanish by telephone or by appointment during regular business hours. For more information, contact Ramona Winner, at 805-884-8440 (ext) 3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*program offered in conjunction with the Mental Wellness Center
Know Someone Who Could Benefit from Family to Family?
If you or a friend has a family member living with a mental health disorder, the NAMI Family to Family class can be tremendously helpful in understanding mental illness and how to more effectively cope with the impact on the entire family. Family to Family is a 12 class program taught by specially trained and NAMI certified family members who have dealt with all the issues around mental health disorders in their own families. Past participants have found the program invaluable in helping them not just understand mental health disorders, how they affect the individual who lives with them and their family, but also how to best support both the ill individual and themselves. For more information or to register, contact Family Advocate Ramona Winner: 884-8440, Ext. 3206; email@example.com
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NAMI Family to Family Course: This is a free 12 week course to help families of people living with mental health disorders learn about serious mental health disorders – what they are and how they’re diagnosed and treated. It also helps families better understand how their ill relative experiences their illness, how to best support their relative’s recovery process and how to better cope with the impact of the mental health disorder on the entire family. The course is recommended for families of persons who are living with known or suspected mental health disorders with or without co-occurring substance abuse disorders. The class was created by an experienced family member mental health professional and is taught by specially trained and certified teachers who are also experienced family members. This nationally recognized program has been included in the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the National Department of Health and Human Services) Registry of Evidence Based Practices.
Monthly NAMI Membership and Speaker Meeting:
These meetings feature a local or regional expert speaker on some aspect of mental health designed to be of specific interest to people living with mental health disorders and their families. Typically, the meetings include a 30-45 minute presentation by the guest speaker followed by a Q and A session of similar length. Meetings are open to the public and takes place on the 4th Thursday evening each month (except Aug. Nov. & Dec) in the Fellowship Club, first floor of Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St. Santa Barbara. The meetings begin with coffee and dessert social time from 6:30-7:00 pm with the presentation beginning at 7:00 pm and concluding at 8:30 pm. More information about the upcoming month’s program and speaker.
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Family Support Groups
Share and Care Support Group* (English language) This group offers understanding support and information to friends and families of people living with serious mental health disorders. The group is facilitated by a trained and experienced family member. Participants have the opportunity, if they wish, to share their current situation with the group, who often have experienced similar issues and who can offer understanding, comfort and support. If requested the group can also often offer resources, ideas or suggestions which they have found helpful. The group meets from 6:00-7:30 pm on Thursday evenings (except 4th Thursday when NAMI Membership Meeting is held 7:00-8:30). The location of the meeting is in the conference room on the second floor of the Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St. Santa Barbara.
Share and Care Support Group* (Spanish language) This group offers understanding, support and information to friends and families of people living with serious mental health disorders and is facilitated by a trained and experienced family member who also has an in depth understanding of Latino cultures. The group provides participants with the chance to share their current situation in a safe and confidential environment among other people who understand and are empathetic. If requested, the group can also offer helpful ideas, resources or suggestions which they have found helpful. The group meets on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:00 pm in the Fellowship Club on the first floor of the Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St. Santa Barbara.
Family Member Educational Discussion Group This group explores various issues and topics of interest to families of people living with mental health disorders, choosing a single specific topic for discussion each week. The group is facilitated by experienced family members who are also NAMI Certified Family to Family* Class Teachers. Each week’s discussion is guided by a handout of source materials which are briefly discussed by facilitators then followed by an open discussion among participants. The group meets from 7:00- 8:30 pm every Tuesday in the NAMI conference room on the second floor of the Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St. Santa Barbara. Weekly topics for each month are released the second week of the preceding month. For upcoming dates and topics.
*program operates in conjunction with the Mental Wellness Center
MWC/NAMI Public Policy Committee: This committee consists of NAMI and MWC members and other community mental health advocates and works toward improvement of mental health services for people living with mental health disorders and their families at the national, state, and especially at the local level. The group studies and takes positions on various legislative bills at the national and state level communicating those positions to elected legislative representatives when appropriate. At the County level, the group members participate as stakeholders in the public mental health system (Department of Behavioral Wellness), monitoring system performance and communicating concerns and positions to department leadership and the County Board of Supervisors when appropriate. The committee also serves as an authoritative community resource for information about public policy issues related to mental health. The committee meets from 11:30am-1:00 pm on the first Monday of each month in the NAMI conference room on the second floor of the Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St. Santa Barbara. For more information, contact committee chair Lynne Gibbs, at 805-708-0856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.