Free 8-session educational program for family, significant others, and friends of people living with mental illness. NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.
NAMI Children's Challenging Behaviors
FREE class for parents who have children and youth with mental health needs. Identify behaviors, learn when and how to seek help, gain resources and support and more - taught by parents who have been on similar journeys.
For friends & family
NAMI Family Support Group
peer-led support group for family members, caregivers, and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances.
Online Support Groups & Socials
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we had to get creative and digital! Click "More info" for our full online programming schedule.
Visit NAMI Virginia's website for other support group offerings and links to affiliates.
For friends & family
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, significant others, and friends of people living with mental illness. It is a designated evidenced-based program. Research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to an individual living with a mental health condition.
NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.
What You’ll Gain
In the program, you'll learn about:
How to manage crises, solve problems, and communicate effectively
Taking care of yourself and managing your stress
Developing the confidence and stamina to provide support with compassion
Finding and using local supports and services
Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain
Current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications, and side effects
The impact of mental illness on the entire family
What People are Saying
"Before I took the course, I felt alone and overwhelmed dealing with my daughter’s mental illness. By taking this course, I have met others who are going through the same things I am and have learned about many resources that I never knew existed."
"I thought my wife and I knew just about everything there is to know about the system and the illness. Boy, were we wrong. Without a doubt, this is the best support course I have had the privilege of taking part in, bar none."
Sign Up for a Class
Registration is required. Click on the header CLASSES AND COMMUNITY EVENTS for the latest information on dates and locations. You can sign up using this link and you will be contacted as soon as possible.
Children's Challenging Behaviors
Children’s Challenging Behaviors is a six-hour workshop for parents of children and youth with mental health needs. In this workshop, a trained and experienced parent provides information to help parents understand typical behaviors versus challenging behaviors that require intervention. Parents learn when and how to seek help, develop parenting strategies, learn the ins and outs of special education and other educational supports, and discover community resources available to families and youth.
With this class, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. Learning to cope with your child’s mental health condition is a journey, and there is hope. The group setting of Children’s Challenging Behaviors provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You also can help others with your own experience.
Children’s Challenging Behaviors was created to educate and support families who have a child diagnosed with a mental health condition and/or who has challenging behaviors. This comprehensive training focuses on developing skills to manage challenging behavior, and learning information and skills to advocate for a child in the educational, medical, social service, and insurance settings. A plan of action that includes partnerships between home, school and community will also be developed in this workshop.
The goals of this workshop are that parents will:
Gain an understanding of typical challenging childhood behavior and what to look for in behavior that merits a closer look
Gain an understanding of mental wellness and mental health conditions in children and develop strategies to support your child/children
Learn about mental health conditions and how they may affect a child’s behavior and school performance
Learn strategies to support a child with challenging behaviors and/or a mental health disorder
Learn information to overcome stigma and myths that are sometimes associated with mental health conditions and challenging behaviors
Learn advocacy skills
Learn accurate information about special education as it relates to the education of children with challenging behaviors or a mental health condition
Learn about community supports
Who Leads The Program
A Children’s Challenging Behaviors teacher is a trained NAMI leader. They play an important role in ensuring that all participants feel welcomed and supported. Children’s Challenging Behaviors teachers are uniquely qualified to lead a class because they too are parents who have a child or youth with mental health needs. Teachers therefore can empathize with and encourage those who are just beginning, or continuing their journey. A Children’s Challenging Behaviors teacher ensures that the class achieves the educational objectives.
NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for family members, caregivers, and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances.
By sharing your experiences in a safe and confidential setting, you gain hope and develop supportive relationships. This group allows your voice to be heard, and provides an opportunity for your personal needs to be met. It encourages empathy, productive discussion, and a sense of community. You'll benefit through other’s experiences, discover your inner strength, and learn how to identify and use local resources.
What You’ll Gain
NAMI Family Support Group will help you:
See the individual first, not the illness
Recognize that mental illnesses are medical illnesses that may have environmental triggers
Understand that mental illnesses are traumatic events
Aim for better coping skills
Find strength in sharing experiences
Reject stigma and not tolerate discrimination
Not judge anyone’s pain
Forgive ourselves and reject guilt
Embrace humor as healthy
Accept that we cannot solve every problem
Work for a better future in a realistic way
Find a Support Group
IN-PERSON GROUPS ARE ON HOLD FOR NOW. VISIT OUR ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS PAGE FOR INFORMATION ON OUR ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP.
Family Support Group (FSG) Programs are offered at four locations:
Lynnhaven Presbyterian Church, 136 S. Lynnhaven Rd, VA Beach.
The second and fourth Wednesdays of every month from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Norview Baptist Church, 1127 Norview Ave., Norfolk, VA.
The second Wednesday of each month from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center, 3636 High Street, 2nd floor, Conference Room A, Portsmouth. The first Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Northhampton County Department of Social Services, 5265 The Hornes, Eastville, VA. Every third Thursday of the month from 6:00pm-7:30pm. For information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.