Taught by trained volunteers, NAMI Orange County provides an intensive twelve-week program for families to teach them the knowledge and required skills to cope with their loved ones affected by mental illness, facilitate the treatment process, and contribute to the return to health. 

This program is free for families who have relatives with serious mental illnesses. This program is also taught in Spanish.

The NAMI Family-To-Family Education Program is a new concept in education for families of loved ones who are affected by serious mental illness: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The course was written by experienced family members and mental health professionals, and is taught by family members who have completed the course and are specially trained to teach the course to others.

The NAMI Family-To-Family Education Program is appropriate for parents, siblings, and significant others of person with severe and persistent mental illness. Individuals who are suffering from one of the major mental illnesses themselves may attend the course if their present condition is stable and they are the primary caregiver of an ill person.

Included in the FAMILY-to-FAMILY twelve-week course:

Week One - Learning about normal reactions when mental illness strikes a family

Week Two - Schizophrenia, Major Depression, Mania, Schizoaffective Disorder, getting through a critical period

Week Three - Types and sub types of Depression and Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, and OCD, telling our stories

Week Four - The biology of the brain, research, causes, the biology of recovery

Week Five - Problem solving, setting limits, problem solving skills workshop

Week Six - Medication Review

Week Seven - What it’s like to have a brain disorder, empathy workshop

Week Eight - How illness interferes with the capacity to communicate, communication skills workshop

Week Nine - Self-care, how to balance our lives

Week Ten - Rehabilitation, a first-person account of recovery

Week Eleven - Advocacy, learning how to change the system

Week Twelve - Review and certification ceremony

Classes are held on a year-round basis throughout Orange County. Although there is no charge for the class, registration is required. If you are interested in attending the NAMI Family-To-Family Education Course, please contact:  NAMI Orange County - (714) 544-8488 or email: