Help available for families coping with mental illness

| 06 Feb 2012 | 05:24

    VERNON — The Sussex County affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be offering the nationally renowned family education course, “Family-to-Family,” in Vernon beginning Thursday, March 1. This free course was created by NAMI to help parents, spouses, siblings, friends and significant others deal with the issues of caring for a loved one with mental illness. The illnesses covered include major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A new module on PTSD has been added, and special attention will be given to addressing the needs of military veterans’ family members who register for the course. In this course family members will learn about the symptoms of various types of mental health disorders, the latest recommended treatments and resources, how to communicate effectively with their loved one, what to do in case of a crisis, and how to take care of their own emotional needs, as well as those of their loved one. Family members will also come to understand the stages of emotional reaction they can expect to experience as caregivers. The comprehensive thirteen-session course will be held at St. Francis de Sales Church, 614 County Highway 517 in Vernon on Thursday evenings, 7 to 9:30 p.m., from March 1 through May 31. There will be no class on April 5. Anyone interested should call 862-268-5846 or email Pre-registration is required.