Free NAMI Basics Class Starting April 18 in Black Hawk County

NAMI Basics is a free six-week course developed by mental health professionals for parents and primary family caregivers of children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition or are experiencing symptoms with no diagnosis. It also is for families who have children with Autism. A study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies found the class produces “significant improvement” for families in coping and communication skills. They also reported improvements in self-care and empowerment, parenting strategies, and self-advocacy.

The class offers insights into understanding the experience of youth living with brain disorders and current research related to the biology of mental illness and effective treatments. Participants will learn problem-solving skills, examples of strategies helpful in handling challenging behaviors, and effective personal record keeping systems for interactions with the school and healthcare systems. The course also covers how to plan for crisis management and relapse as well as how to build a community of support.

The teachers are trained and certified through NAMI’s state office and have a child who either was diagnosed or started having symptoms while younger. The class will meet for six weeks. It will be every Thursday, beginning April 18 through May 23, from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. It will be held at the First Congregational Church in Waterloo, 608 West 4th Street.  

Registration is required in order to have enough material for class participants.  Please contact the NAMI Black Hawk County office at 319-235-5263 by no later than Friday, March 29, if you have questions or would like to take the class.