NAMI Basics


The fundamentals of caring for you, your family
and your child with mental illness

Upcoming courses:

NAMI NJ & Raritan Bay Area YMCA present NAMI Basics in Spanish
Every Tuesday, January 23 – February 27, 2023
Raritan Bay Area YMCA, 357 New Brunswick Ave, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Register here
Dinner and Child Care will be provided
Download flyer

NAMI Atlantic/Cape May & NAMI Union County present NAMI Basics
Every Thursday, February 8 – March 14, 2024
Via Zoom
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET
Register here
For more information, please email [email protected]
Download flyer


What is NAMI Basics?

NAMI Basics is a 6-session education program for parents, caregivers and other family who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms. This program is free to participants, 99% of whom say they would recommend the program to others. NAMI Basics is available both in person and online through NAMI Basics OnDemand.

The in-person course is taught by a trained team with lived experience raising a child with a mental health condition. They know what you’re going through because they’ve been there too.

The OnDemand program is also guided by parents and family members with lived experience but is self-paced and available 24/7. OnDemand offers the flexibility of participating in the course on your schedule. Both formats provide identical information, strategies and the opportunity to connect with other parents and caregivers.


What are the goals of NAMI Basics?

• To give the parent/caregiver the fundamental information necessary to be an effective caregiver

• To help the parent/caregiver cope with the traumatic impact that mental illness has on the child living with the illness and the entire family

• To provide tools for the parent/caregiver to use even after completing the program that will assist in making the best decisions possible for the care of the child

• To help the parent/caregiver take the best care possible of the entire family – especially themselves


What does the course include?

• Introduction to the normative stages of emotional reactions of the family to the trauma of mental illness

• Current information about Attention Deficit Disorder, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

• Current research related to the biology of mental illness and the evidence-based, most effective treatment strategies available, including medications used to treat mental illness in children and adolescents

• Specific workshops to learn problem solving, listening and communication skills

• Strategies in handling challenging behaviors in children and adolescents

• Information about the systems that are major players in the lives of children and adolescents with mental illness – the school system and the mental health system

• Exposure to personal record keeping systems that have proven to be effective for parents/caregivers in their interactions with the school and healthcare systems

• Information on planning for crisis management and relapse

• Information on locating appropriate supports and services within the community

• Insights into an emphatic understanding of the subjective, lived experience of the child living with the mental illness

• Information on advocacy initiatives designed to improve and expand services, with an emphasis on personal advocates for the parent/caregiver and child on an individual level



For more information about the program, please contact
NAMI NJ Office at (732) 940-0991 or [email protected]





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