NAMI Washington offers a number of peer-led education and support programs for all those affected by serious mental illnesses. These NAMI Signature Programs include classes, support groups, and community presentation programs.

Our peer-led education programs give individuals living with mental illness and their families a place to turn, a place to access a strong network of education and support programs presented by trained teachers and facilitators who have "been there." You benefit from the unique wisdom of their own lived experience with mental illness.

Courses are offered by local NAMI affiliates with training support provided by NAMI Washington. Please contact your local affiliate for more information.

Download the 2020 State Trainer Application of Interest


NAMI Basics

NAMI Basics is a new signature education program for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years. NAMI-trained parents and caregivers teach the free six week course and all materials are free for participants. The course focuses on ADHD, ODD, CD, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia, OCD and Substance Use Disorders. During the six weeks topics such as brain development, current research, treatment, resources in the community and crisis and relapse prevention are discussed. Participants that complete the course leave with the fundamentals to care for their family and children with mental illness.


NAMI Family to Family

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free twelve-week course for family caregivers of individuals with mental illnesses. NAMI-trained family members teach the course and all materials are free for class participants. The curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and borderline personality disorder, with a new resource on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The course discusses treatment for these illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope with the challenges of living with a relative with a mental illness.


NAMI Homefront

NAMI Homefront is a 6-session adaptation of the Evidence-Based NAMI Family-to-Family Program created specifically for the families of Service Members and Veterans dealing with mental illness.

NAMI Homefront focuses on the unique needs of military and veteran communities, such as post-deployment and post-discharge transitions. The course is designed to help family members understand and support their loved one while maintaining their own well-being.


NAMI Peer to Peer

NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free course consisting of ten two-hour classes and is taught by a team of trained mentors who are experienced at living well with mental illness. It is for persons with serious mental illnesses who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery. It includes education on individual empowerment, family and peer support, relapse prevention, communication skills, and enhancement of personal activity and functioning. Mentors attend a weekend-long training session, are supplied with teaching manuals, and are paid a stipend for each course that they teach.



This 12.5 hour in-service training for staff at facilities providing mental health treatment services of any kind. The course aims to expand participants' compassion for clients and their families and to promote a collaborative model of care. This can also be offered as a 4-hour presentation in a seminar format - this would introduce audiences to NAMI and to the unique perspective of people affected by mental health conditions and to the importance of a collaborative approach to treatment.


NAMI Connection

NAMI Connection is a 90-minute support group run by persons who live with mental illness for other persons who live with mental illness. The program includes NAMI-trained peer facilitators and employs principles of support designed to empower its members. This program focuses on allowing all participants to share their experiences and learn from each other in a safe and confidential environment. NAMI Connection is not illness-specific, and welcomes persons with all psychiatric diagnoses.


NAMI Family Support Groups

NAMI Family Support Groups are for relatives, caregivers, and others involved with individuals with mental illness. The support groups are run by local affiliates and have facilitators trained by NAMI in order to provide a structure which encourages full group participation. Support groups provide a caring atmosphere for individuals to share their common experiences and assist individuals in developing the skills for understanding and the strengths needed to cope.


NAMI Ending the Silence is a presentation about mental health conditions in youth. This program had 3 separate presentation components: Ending the Silence for Students, Ending the Silence for Families, Ending the Silence for School Staff. All versions educate about warning signs, and what to do and the importance of early intervention. NAMI Ending the silence is an evidence-based program.



Intro to NAMI! This 4-hour seminar for families, partners, and friends of people living with mental health conditions. It introduces participants to NAMI resources and programs and to key topics: symptoms, diagnoses, treatment options and communication strategies.


NAMI In Our Own Voice

NAMI In Our Own Voice is a presentation about living with mental illness by intensively trained individuals who tell their stories to educate the community, providers and others living with mental illness.


NAMI Smarts for Advocacy

Never thought of yourself as an advocate? Want to make a positive change in mental health services? Grassroots advocacy is simple; you don't have to know about policies or politics. It's about using your voice to influence policy makers and make a difference. Turn your passion and your lived experience into a positive voice for mental health with the NAMI Smarts for Advocacy grassroots advocacy training.