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Mon, Dec. 09

Course educates families of the mentally ill<BR>

A 12-week course called the "NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program" is being offered again in the tri-city area free of charge.

The course is taught by trained family members, and the curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) of Yavapai is sponsoring the educational program, and participants will receive program materials at no cost. Classes begin March 10.

"My husband and I were deeply and profoundly affected in positive ways from this course.

These effects have continued to improve our relationship with our loved one who suffers from a mental illness," said Karen Studdard, a Family-to-Family Educator for Northern Arizona.

The topics covered during the Family-To-Family Education Program will include:

• Feelings and Facts

• Schizophrenia, major depression and mania; diagnosis and dealing with critical periods;

• Subtypes of depression and bipolar disorder, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder; diagnosis and causes;

• Biology of the brain; new research;

• Problem solving workshop;

• Medication review;

• Empathy workshop; what it's like to have a brain disorder;

• Communication skills workshop;

• Self-care and relative groups;

• Rehabilitation and services available;

• Advocacy; fighting stigma;

• Review and certification ceremony.

Space is limited, and participants are strongly encouraged to attend the entire 12-week program from start to finish. For more details and to register, call 776-9172 or 776-8783.

Do you have questions for the Counselor's Column? If you are one of the increasing numbers of people with e-mail access, send your questions to lauran@wygc.org, or, write to West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, 505 S. Cortez, Prescott, AZ 86303.

(The Counselor's Column is provided weekly for the Daily Courier by West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, a non-profit community mental health center specializing in crisis intervention, psychiatry, child and family therapy, addiction treatment, and programs for individuals with serious mental illness. For more information call West Yavapai Guidance Clinic at 445-5211.)

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