Find Help, Find Hope!

Education & Classes

All classes are free of charge.

Family to Family

Next Class begins:  Thursday evening, March 7th at ICC East Peoria Campus, 7pm.   

Please call 309-693-0541 or 309-251-5830 to register for this class.

Parents, spouses, friends, or adult children of people with mental illnesses are invited to participate in the next 12-week course. There is no charge for this NAMI signature program. Participants will learn and collect valuable information to help them understand and support an ill relative while maintaining their own wellbeing. The class will be taught by Gay & Rachel Knapp.

Remember, you are not alone!

Peer to Peer Class

Please call to register for the next class

The next class will be held when there are sufficient numbers to offer it. Please call Dean at 840-0915 to register. To take the 9-week class you must be 18 or older, have a psychiatric diagnosis, and have someone with whom you can talk about any issues/problems the classes unearth. The classes teach information about the various mental illnesses, tell how different medications function, help you create a relapse prevention plan, and start you toward creating an advance medical directive. The class will be facilitated by Dean and Larry. There is no charge for this NAMI signature program.

NAMI Basics Education Program

Class begins March 12th.  

This course is for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with mental illness.   Basics is taught by parents who have lived similar experiences with their own kids and have received training to teach the course.  The class covers the biology of mental illness, treatment, and the latest research as well as the trauma of brain disorders for the child and the family.   If you are interested in this class, please call Beth at 309-251-5830. There is no charge for this NAMI signature program but registration is required.

Also, check out “Basics” video on You Tube for further description of the course.

Additional Class Descriptions:


For families, friends, and caregivers of adults with mental illnesses. The twelve week course is taught by trained family members who provide handouts at each class. All types of mental illnesses are covered, as well as the biology of the brain and new research. Empathy, communication skills, self-care, and advocacy initiatives are also included. Classes are held twice a year, starting in March and September.

Overview of a Family to Family

12-week Class Schedule

 Week 1:     Introduction to Family Education

Week 2:     Symptoms of Schizophrenia, Major Depression, Mania, Schizoaffective Disorder; Getting through critical periods of crisis.

Week 3:     Subtypes of Depression and Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, OCD, Co-occurring brain and addictive disorders; telling our stories.

Week 4:     Basics about brain biology and the causes of brain disorders.

Week 5:     Problem Solving Workshop

Week 6:     Medication Review

Week 7:     Empathy: Inside mental illness

Week 8:     Communication Skills Workshop

Week 9:     Self-care

Week 10:   Rehabilitation; Making choices for recovery

Week 11:   Fighting Stigma; Advocacy

Week 12:   Evaluation, Certification and Celebration party

Click here for a detailed description of the Family to Family class.

For more information, please contact: 309-251-5830



For any person with serious mental illness that is interested in establishing and maintaining wellness. The nine week course uses a combination of lecture, interactive exercises, and structured group processes. The course is taught by teams of three trained “mentors” or peer teachers who are themselves experienced at living well with mental illness.

You must go through a screening interview to enroll in this class. See below for more details and for the contact information of people who will help with registration.

Overview of a Peer to Peer

9-Week Class Schedule

Week 1     Introduction, Stigma, Discrimination, Begin Relapse Prevention Training

Week 2     Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Thoughts, Feelings, Sleep, Continue Relapse Prevention Planning

Week 3     Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Senses, Behavior, Continue Relapse Prevention Planning

Week 4     Story Telling

Week 5     Language, Emotions, Continue Relapse Prevention Training

Week 6     Addictions, Spirituality, Medication, Continue Relapse Prevention Training

Week 7     Coping Strategies, Decision Making

Week 8     Relationships, Begin Advance Directive

Week 9     Empowerment, Advocacy, “Complete” Advance Directive, Evaluations

The Peer to Peer Class is held when there are enough participants to fill the class.

For more information, please contact

Dean at 309-347-1634


This course covers information about ADHD, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Schizophrenia, and Substance Abuse Disorders. It also includes coping skills such as handling a crisis and relapse, basic information about medication use in the treatment of mental illness in children, listening and communication techniques, problem-solving skills; and an overview of the mental health and school systems’ roles in treating children with mental illness.

The curriculum was written by an experienced family member mental health professional. The course will be taught by two volunteers who are parents or other caregivers of individuals who developed mental illness as children. These volunteers have taken extensive training as course instructors.

This course is a wonderful experience! It balances basic psychological education and skill training with emotional support, self-care and empowerment.

Click here for a description of the Basics Education class.

To get information about, or to register for, the class, please call 309-251-5830. 


The course is designed to help family members understand and support their loved one while maintaining their own well being. It focuses on the unique needs of military and veteran communities such as post-deployment and post-discharge transitions. The trained teachers are also family members who have experience with military culture and know what it’s like to have a loved one living with a mental health condition.
Course Outline:
· Class 1: Introduction to NAMI Family Education
· Class 2: The Biology of Mental Illness & Getting a Diagnosis
· Class 3: Understanding Trauma, Overview of the Diagnosis and Treatment
· Class 4: Treatment Services and Crisis Management
· Class 5: Crisis Preparation and Communication Skills
· Class 6: Family Roles, Recovery & Self-Care

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