NAMI Provider Education – Class One

NAMI Provider Education

Joyce Burland, PhD developed NAMI‘s Provider Education Program to provide health service providers with insight into the lived experience of mental illness. In the first class, we went over the key principals guiding the course and heard the personal and family mental health crisis stories of our volunteer panelists. Thank you, NAMI-Orange County volunteers! The following content comes from the handouts provided in the NAMI Provider Education Course Participant Manual 2013:

No-Fault Approach

  • Hope and compassion
  • Critical role of supportive families play
  • Collaborative treatment team: family, individual, and mental health professional

Bio-Psycho-Social Model

The medical treatment of mental illness, crucial as it is, cannot be divorced from treating the emotional and social consequences of having mental illness in a society which heavily stigmatizes these conditions. Each of these three areas are equally important.


Medical Realm – Science-based knowledge

  • Clinical Focus – Medical aspects of illness
    • Symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, medications
    • Acute care, medical management of chronic illness
    • Research
  • Clinical Posture
    • Positive, constructive
    • Looking for potentials for improvement
    • Alert for signs of relapse
    • Willing to collaborate with other professionals
  • Clinical Goals
    • Improve outcome, reduce discomfort, prevent relapse
    • Find the medical strategy to maximize recovery
    • Increase knowledge
    • Grasp of diagnostic and medical information
    • Knowledge of medications and their side effects
    • Recognizing early signs of relapse
    • Knowledge of current research


Psychological/Humanistic Realm – Psychology-based knowledge

  • Clinical Focus – Subjective emotions & feelings
    • Inner experience, feelings
    • Response to illness
    • Self-regard
    • Concern about the future
  • Clinical Posture
    • Empathetic, understanding
    • Alert to signs of grief, stigma, demoralization.
    • Aware of client’s courage and fortitude
    • Patience with defense coping strategies
  • Clinical Goals
    • Foster a close relationship
    • Create safety and protection for expressed feelings
    • Increase self-esteem and connection with others
    • Empathetic listening and responding
    • Ability to feel another’s pain
    • Ability to ignore stereotypes about people with SMI and their families
    • Ability to take initiative in building relationships


Rehabilitative Realm – Recover-based knowledge

  • Clinical Focus – Self-Renewal/Re-entry into community
    • Functional capacities
    • Personal goals
    • Adaptation to disability
    • Sources of system/community support
    • Long-term care
  • Clinical Posture
    • Realistic, hopeful, encouraging
    • Willing to take initiative
    • Alert to emerging talents and strengths
    • Encouragement of positive coping strategies
  • Clinical Goals
    • Restoration of social ties
    • Increased personal agency and self-determination
    • Maximum personal fulfillment
    • Maximum quality of life
    • Negotiation
    • Conflict resolution
    • Guidance/coaching
    • Knowledge of community resources
    • Advocacy

These three treatment strategies are interdependent

  1. Changes in any one of these areas can affect the other two
  2. No single treatment alone is sufficient for recovery
  3. No one strategy can ignore the benefits of the other two

NAMI Provider Education Course Participant Manual 2013


4 responses to “NAMI Provider Education – Class One”

  1. […] I still very much look forward to participating in my local NAMI Walks (please consider walking with or sponsoring me) & raising as much money as possible. I still very much look forward to being an Ending the Silence presenter in local high schools and a Provider Education panelist. […]

  2. Yes, Christiane. Warning, though, sometimes I let social media consume me. Just taking beginning steps with NAMI. One step at a time.

  3. It’s great that you’re doing this program – for you and the people you’re going to work with! I’m very interested in provider training, and am looking forward to reading more about your experiences working with NAMI. On a personal note, I’m getting a lot of inspiration from you. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve isolated myself while doing research this past year, and you’re helping me take breaks by writing about things I can relate to and showing me that there’s value in spending time connecting with people online. That it’s not a luxury I should feel guilty about – but an important way to stay part of the world and also find people who understand what it’s like to live this life with bipolar disorder. Thank you!

  4. Wow! This is so comprehensive (and intense) sounding! I’m so glad you enjoyed the first class.

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