NAMI Sussex provides two highly acclaimed free courses developed by NAMI National and taught by trained NAMI Sussex volunteers. “Family-to-Family” is a 12-week course for family caregivers of loved ones with mental illness. The curriculum includes coping strategies, communication skills, problem solving techniques, options for treatment, and up-to-date research about mental illness. “The tremendous influence this course has had on my own mental health, as well as that of my ill family member, has been a source of great strength,” wrote one Sussex County participant in her course evaluation. “This course saved my family’s life!” said another graduate recently, more than a year after she completed the course. The Family-to-Family course is offered in fall and spring.  Dates and locations will be announced.

       “NAMI Basics,” a six-week course for parents/guardians of children with mental illness or other behavioral disorders, is also offered Fall and Spring. Our Basics courses generate very positive feedback from participants, a number of whom have gone on to become trained teachers of the course.

       NAMI Sussex was instrumental in bringing NAMI New Jersey’s Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) to Sussex County. In the Fall of 2010, in collaboration with Newton Medical Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Services personnel, we trained all municipal police and county jail corrections officers in how to recognize a mental health crisis and respond compassionately and responsibly. The program also taught the officers about community resources available to help those suffering from mental illness and their family members. Further law enforcement trainings are in the planning stages.