Click here for class schedule and registration information.

There is no charge for the class, however, registration is required.


The NAMI Provider Education Program is a 5-week course that presents a penetrating, subjective view of family and consumer experiences with serious mental illness to staff at public agencies or private practitioners, who work directly with people with severe and persistent mental illness.This training course is for any mental health professional, including case managers, residential care givers, front office staff, R.N.’s, psychologists, homeless outreach workers, vocational rehabilitation and job counselors, club house programmers, psychiatrists, therapists, and all those who serve individuals with serious mental illness.

The purpose of the program is to help service providers better understand and support individuals with serious mental illnesses and their families.

The Provider Education Program is a series of 5 weekly classes, taught by a trained five member team consisting of:

  • two Family-to-Family instructors.
  • two Provider Education Program-trained consumers.
  • one mental health professional.


    Week One: ORIENTATION: Introductions; Key principles guiding the course; Group exercise in building 
    mutual respect and protection; The personal and family experience in critical periods of mental illness 
    (Our trauma stories).

    Week Two: CLINICAL BASES: Basic principles of secondary prevention/intervention in Community Psychiatry; 
    Clinical strategies for responding to psychological trauma; Secondary prevention stage models of 
    family/consumer emotional adaptation to mental illness; Group exercise to determine consumer and 
    family needs in critical periods of mental illness (Stage I).

    traumas when families cope alone; Understanding symptoms as stressors (group exercise); Other 
    significant stressors complicating passage through Stage II (Adverse effects of psychotropic drugs; 
    Stages of adherence to medication; Co-occurring brain and addictive disorders; The trauma of 
    incarceration and attempted suicide.

    Week Four: INSIDE MENTAL ILLNESS: Gaining empathy and understanding of what it is like to contend with the 
    psychological impact of brain disorders; Understanding defensive coping strategies to protect against 
    loss of identity and demoralization; Reiterating our appeal for trauma informed care; Up from obscurity: 
    The whole family experience.

    Week Five: WORKING TOWARD RECOVERY: Suggested confidentiality guidelines: Case Study: How to frame 
    collaborative work with consumers and their family; Recovery as conscious choice and action; 

    The NAMI Provider Education Program is appropriate for psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, case managers, 
    residential care givers, homeless outreach workers, vocational rehabilitation and job counselors, front office staff, 
    clubhouse programmers, therapists, and all those who serve individuals with mental illness.

 One course participant wrote:

“An extraordinary experience! The approach of having providers learn from family members and those living with mental illness is really eye-opening. I will tell my colleagues that until they attend this course, they don’t have a clear and true picture of what those living with mental illness, their families, and their friends endure while they are battling their illness. But after the course, they will.” 

 Note – enrollment is restricted to paid staff or professionals who have been providing services to clients for at least one year.