Teaching parents about caring for kids with mental health issues

GETTING DOWN TO BASICS: Four members of NAMI Western Carolina, from left, Neil Friedman, Share Friedman, Marianne Olson and Angela Stott, went to Raleigh for training to teach NAMI Basics, which is a six-session class that teaches parents the fundamentals of caring for a child or adolescent with mental health issues.
GETTING DOWN TO BASICS: Four members of NAMI Western Carolina, from left, Neil Friedman, Share Friedman, Marianne Olson and Angela Stott, went to Raleigh for training to teach NAMI Basics, which is a six-session class that teaches parents the fundamentals of caring for a child or adolescent with mental health issues. Photo courtesy of NAMI Western Carolina

Editor’s note: As part of our Nonprofit Issue, Xpress asked local nonprofits to share a bright moment of 2017.

NAMI Western Carolina is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental health issues. People with mental health issues can lead full, meaningful lives. Treatment works. Recovery happens. The purpose of NAMI WC is support, education and advocacy.

This year, four members of NAMI WC (Neil Friedman, Share Friedman, Marianne Olson and Angela Stott, pictured) went to Raleigh for training to teach NAMI Basics, which is a six-session class that teaches parents the fundamentals of caring for a child or adolescent with mental health issues.

Paulette Heck
Paulette Heck

NAMI Basics is a free class. It includes information about the following:
• The biology of mental health issues and getting an accurate diagnosis.
• An overview of treatment options that work.
• Tools for the toolbox — communication skills, problem-solving, crisis preparation and response, handling challenging behavior, relapse planning and impact on family members.
• Record-keeping and the systems your child is involved in (school, juvenile justice, mental health).
• Stories of recovery.

NAMI WC has completed two Basics classes in Asheville, one in the spring and one in the fall. We look forward to our next class. If you are interested in signing up, please contact 828-505-7353 or info@namiwnc.org. For other NAMI programs, check out our website at namiwnc.org.

— Paulette Heck,
board president, National Alliance on Mental Illness Western Carolina

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