How Can NAMI’s Local Programs Help You?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nation-wide, non-profit organization that assists individuals and families touched by the challenges of mental illness. NAMI Washington has 19 independent NAMI Affiliates, so there is probably one near you. Each affiliate offers a mix of services at no-cost to meet local needs.

NAMI Washington offers the intensive trainings for Affiliate members to become the Teachers, Facilitators, Mentors and Presenters of these NAMI Programs in their local communities. Go to the Education & Training page to find more information about these trainings.

Support Groups

Most NAMI Washington Affiliates hold weekly, peer-led recovery-support groups for individuals with mental health diagnoses. These groups are called NAMI Connection. Many of the local affiliates also offer NAMI Family Support Group for family members, caregivers, and friends supporting or caring for a loved one with mental illness. Support groups are not a replacement for counseling or therapy. They are groups of individuals who meet to share their challenges and benefit from each other’s lived experiences and support. All groups are confidential and group leaders are trained by NAMI to keep the discussions focused and emotionally safe.

Our online support group meetings are hosted on a Zoom platform and are HIPAA compliant.  Information given for registration for support groups is onlyseen by NAMI staff, no personal details or emails are used for soliciations.

Please use the links and pre-register for groups, space is limited in some groups so please find the group that meets your need, even if it is not your local affiliate. 

You must be 18+ years old to participate in all of our groups. Observers are not allowed in any NAMI Online Programs. All participants must meet the criteria of the Zoom Meeting they are attending.

Who can attend? The Connection Recovery Support Group is suitable for any adult living with mental illness. The Family Support Group is suitable for any adult who has a loved one affected by mental illness. For example, while we respect that many people may fall under both criteria, it is important that participants understand that NAMI Connection Support Group is for people living with mental illness seeking support for their own mental illness and not their family members. While NAMI Family Support Group is for people seeking support and insight from others from the challenges and success from others who have loved ones living with mental illness.

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group is a free, peer-led support group for any adult who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition. You will gain insight from hearing the challenges and successes of others, and the groups are led by trained leaders who've been there. The group encourages empathy, productive discussion and a sense of community. You'll benefit from other's experiences, discover your inner strength and empower yourself by sharing your own experiences in a non-judgmental space.

NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group will help you:

  • Aim for better coping skills
  • Find strength in sharing experiences
  • Not judge anyone's pain
  • Forgive ourselves and reject guilt
  • Embrace humor as healthy
  • Accept that we cannot solve every problem
  • Understand that mental health conditions are no one's fault and can be traumatic experiences

NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for any adult with a loved one who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar experiences.

NAMI Family Support Group will help you:

  • Aim for better coping skills
  • Find strength in sharing experiences
  • Not judge anyone’s pain
  • Forgive ourselves and reject guilt
  • Embrace humor as healthy
  • Accept that we cannot solve every problem
  • Understand that mental health conditions are no one's fault and can be traumatic experiences

Classes: Real World Mental Health Education

  • Family-to-Family: An 8-week course for families, partners and friends of individuals with serious mental illness. The course focuses on the emotional responses families have to the trauma of mental illness.
  • Peer-to-Peer: An 8-week recovery education course open to any adult with a serious mental illness. Peer-to-Peer emphasizes recovery from mental illness as a feasible, supportable goal and challenges the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • Basics: A six-week course developed specifically for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents who have either been diagnosed with a serious mental illness/serious emotional disturbance or who are experiencing symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed.
  • Homefront: A six-week course for families, caregivers and friends of active duty military members and veterans with mental health conditions. Based on the national recognized NAMI Family-to-Family program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country.

Community Education Programs

  • In Our Own Voice: A unique public education presentation that offers insight into the hope and recovery possible for people living with mental illness. Trained individuals living with mental illness lead a brief, yet comprehensive interactive presentation.
  • Ending the Silence: Helping middle and high school students understand mental illness makes a big difference. We can teach them about the warning signs for themselves and their friends. NAMI Ending the Silence helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental health conditions. Through this 50-minute classroom presentation, students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition, from the lived experience of a young adult living with mental illness and a family member.

Other Programs: Though not all of these programs are available at every NAMI Affiliate, our larger affiliates often have an even wider range of services such as youth groups, Club House programs, Crisis Intervention Training, Suicide Awareness and Groups, and lecture series. Contact your local NAMI Affiliate to find out what help is available near you.