Free online NAMI Basics course beginning May 28 

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If you are a caregiver of people younger than 22 years of age who are experiencing an emotional or behavioral disorder, NAMI Maine is offering the National Alliance on Mental Illness signature course, NAMI Basics, that you might find helpful.  The course will be delivered online, via Zoom, free of charge.  Classes begin Thursday, May 28 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and run for six consecutive weeks.


For NAMI Basics, a caregiver is anyone who spends time regularly caring for children or adolescents with behavioral and emotional challenges.  Caregivers can include teachers, school support staff, respite providers, family members, loved ones, babysitters and foster parents.


These empowering classes are based on the trauma model of education fostering healing and consciousness raising. Participants find support within the class community as well as learning a wealth of information. Course topics include the biology of mental health disorders, getting an accurate diagnosis, treatment options, communication skills, tips for handling difficult behavior, crisis preparation and response, the mental health system, the school system services and advocacy.


Some of the mental health challenges addressed in NAMI Basics are attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse disorders, and anxiety associated with autism spectrum disorder.  Also addressed are the mental health challenges of post-traumatic stress in children, separation anxiety, borderline personality disorder, anorexia, bulimia, reactive attachment disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.


Classes will be co-taught by NAMI Maine-trained instructors from NAMI Piscataquis County and NAMI Western Mountains. Both are professional educators who have significant experience teaching children and adolescents from families impacted by the trauma of mental health challenges.


Register online for NAMI Basics at If you need assistance with registration using the website, call Director of Community Engagement Natalie Petrone at 1-800-464-5767, extension 2305. This class is available statewide.

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