Those with a Family Member Living with a Mental Health Disorder Encouraged to Take NAMI Family-to-Family Course

By Agencies

“High Praise by Former Participants Shows Importance of National Alliance on Mental Illness Program»

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is offering support courses for families in Santa Barbara county that have a relative suffering any mental health disorder.

This Family-to-Family course is a free, 8-session education program designed to help family members understand and support their loved one living with a mental health disorder, to understand and access local resources, all while taking care of themselves. 

According to the organizers, the course will begin on Wednesday, February 2nd and will cover information on illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health conditions. 

“Teachers were well experienced with situations we deal with – were kind, thoughtful, realistic and sympathetic. Supported each other’s program participation,” said one of the participants in previous courses.

The class is taught by trained teachers who are also family members that know what it is like to have a loved one struggling with a mental health disorder and is offered through the NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for those affected by mental health disorders.

“I really appreciated that the teachers shared their own personal experience with their family members with mental illness. I also appreciated that they validated the participants,” said Jhon Doe.

Family-to-Family’s North County presentation will be online via ZOOM. South County presentation will be in a classroom setting, following all County Health Department COVID requirements. 

“This course overall was the single most, without a doubt, helpful and informative thing ever offered in all my years searching for answers… It has helped me to understand better and communicate more effectively with my brother.”

This class was included in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. 

Both courses will begin on Wednesday, February 2nd. Pre-registration is required and those interested in attending this 8 weeks course in North County needs to contact Maria Perez, Family Support Specialist at, 

Community members from south SB County that can attend in person need to register with Ramona Winner at,

Transitions Mental Health Association (TMHA) is NAMI’s partner in mid and North county. 

TMHA is a non-profit dedicated to eliminating stigma, promoting recovery/wellness for people living with mental illness in SLO County and Northern Santa Barbara County by promoting work, housing, community, and family support services.

Meanwhile, the Mental Wellness Center (MWC) is NAMI’s partner in South County, and is a nonprofit that works to raise awareness around mental health by providing supportive programming, education, and housing in Santa Barbara.