NAMI Homefront is the newest educational course for family, caregivers and friends of military Service Members and Veterans living with mental illness. We are excited to announce that teachers have been trained to teach NAMI Homefront in Dane, Milwaukee, Portage/Wood and St. Croix counties!
We were honored to have one of the national Education and Program Managers, Suzanne Robinson, from NAMI here to train our 10 teachers. For several years, NAMI Dane county and NAMI Greater Milwaukee have partnered with the VA system to offer NAMI Family-to-Family. This venture resulted in limited success, in part because we did not always have veteran/active service family members teaching the class and partly because the curriculum was not tailored to meet the specific needs of family members of veterans/active service members. With the introduction of this new curriculum, we are thrilled to have our teachers return to their local communities to teach and are hopeful that it will meet the needs of their community.
The course meets for 2.5 hours every week for 6 weeks and is offered at no cost to attendees. It is specifically designed for loved ones (over age 18) of Service Members/Veterans living with mental illness and is taught by trained family members of Service Members/Veterans living with mental illness. The class provides critical information and strategies related to caregiving in an interactive, presentation, discussion and exercise-based class.
The curriculum includes:
- Up-to-date information about a range of mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring substance use disorders
- Impact of mental illness on the brain
- Current research on treatments including medication, side effects and evidence-based therapies
- Skills related to managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively
- Strategies for self-care including stress management and emotional overload
- Guidance on locating appropriate federal, state and local supports and services
Perhaps most importantly, participants gain comfort in knowing they are not alone. Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all families and Service Members/Veterans dealing with a mental illness and the invisible wounds of war like PTSD. The in-person group experience of NAMI Homefront provides the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact. Participants can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to their experiences. Through participation, each member has the opportunity to help others grow.
Congrats and thank you to our newest program teachers!
For more information about classes in your area contact your local affiliate! (namiwisconsin.org/find-help-near-you)