This past Wednesday I attended my first of ten NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Peer-to-Peer sessions. Since I am brain dead after excessively tweeting (yes, I’ve been hypomanic), here is my tweet about it from Wednesday night: “Just got home from 1st NAMI Peer to Peer class. Weird after over 30 years of therapy, but hey 1st time for everything. Always learning.”

I will blog about what it is like to participate in NAMI’s highly structured, scripted program and how it differs from my experiences in individual and group psychotherapy. I’m a seasoned consumer of individual psychotherapy, but believe (and hope) that I will learn some hands-on skills from NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer program. Who knows, once I have finished the sessions, perhaps I will do some volunteer work with NAMI?

For those in the USA, here is the text from NAMI’s website:

NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a recovery-focused educational program for adults who wish to establish and maintain wellness in response to mental health challenges. The course provides critical information and strategies related to living with mental illness.

Outreach Video for NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education Course.

What You Should Expect

  • Ten two-hour sessions, free of charge.
  • Designed for individuals (18 and over) living with mental illness.
  • Taught by a trained team of individuals living in recovery from mental illness.
  • Incorporates presentations, discussion and exercises.

Why You Should Attend

A toolkit of information

  • Up-to-date research on brain biology.
  • Mental illness symptoms and their relationship to personal experiences.
  • Personalized relapse prevention plan.
  • Tools to prepare for interactions with health care providers.
  • Skills for making decisions and reducing stress.

Wisdom from shared experiences

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. Our Core Philosophy informs the course’s approach.

Participation in the course gives you an opportunity to gain tangible resources – personalized plans, strategies for potential events in the future and information – as well as a deeper understanding of your personal recovery process.

Core Philosophy

  • We have more in common than not.
  • We are all experts on our own experience.
  • We respect individual experiences and individual choices.
  • We are free to choose our own path.
  • There is no one true way to do or be anything.

What Others Say About NAMI Peer-to-Peer

“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.”

“It made me feel I was not alone in coping with mental illness; it gave me hope that I could recover and that my life would not always be filled with chaos; it gave me positive role models to inspire me to strive for recuperation and success in life.”

De Persona a Persona de NAMI

De Persona a Persona de NAMI is available in a limited number of states. Please contact your NAMI State Organization to learn if De Persona a Persona de NAMI is available near you.

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