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NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher Training Scheduled in September in North Andover

Here’s your opportunity to become a trained

NAMI Family-to-Family Teacher!

Our Family-to-Family education course (F2F) is taught by family members, like you, who have already taken a F2F course!

People who care and empathize with other family members who also love someone with a mental illness…

To help guide family members through the trauma of dealing with all the complications

and let them know they are not alone!

The F2F curriculum is designed to enable co-leaders who are not mental health “professionals” to

conduct the classes.  Teaching experience is not needed! However … Attendance is required for the entire training.

The FREE Weekend training for new Family-to-Family teachers in Massachusetts will be held at;

The Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover

September 7th (9:00am) through September 9th, 2012 (3:00pm)

(All meals, dorm/shared rooms and materials are free of charge!)

I know we all wish we had perfect healthy families without having a care in the world,

but in reality our families struggle everyday and our Family-to-Family Education Program makes

the struggle a little less and the joy a little more for the participants as well as the volunteers

who teach it! We hope you will consider joining our wonderful team of F2F dedicated teachers!

****Also looking for Bi-Lingual people to train in English and to teach a course Spanish****

Now our fine print…really not so bad;

You must register before August 1, 2012 NAMI Massachusetts is required to train & teach the F2F program.

Because of the expense of the training we ask for you to teach a minimum of two 12 week courses.

(Does not have to be 2 in a row)

Please contact:  Karen McGravey-Gajera at NAMI Massachusetts to receive more information and/or a registration form

Call 781-938-4048 or email kgajera@namimass.org

family to family

We’re looking for empathetic support group facilitators for caregivers

What is Family Support Group Facilitation?

When is it?

Does it cost money?

Who is eligible?

NAMI Massachusetts will be holding Support Group Facilitation training over the course of 2 Saturdays, November 12th & December 3rd from 9:30-4:30.  The course is FREE and lunch will be provided.

We will be training volunteer family caregivers of persons living with a serious mental illness to facilitate support groups throughout the state to other family members in your area.  Facilitators need to work as a team of 2 or more and hold their group once a month (at the very least).

People trained will to commit to facilitating a support group for a minimum of 24 times (2 years if doing the group once a month) and be a member of NAMI Massachusetts.  (The cost of membership is $35 a year or $3.00 for people who cannot afford the $35.)


Only this training and the ability to listen empathetically and able to speak openly about mental illness will qualify you.

Seating is very limited

Please call Karen McGravey-Gajera, Family Education and Support Programs Coordinator at 781-938-4048 or kgajera@namimass.org to register and for more information.

What Family to Family has done for me

The summer of 2001 I had my expectations of the future and all of my dreams shatter in the time it took the doctor to say, “Timmy has Schizophrenia.”

Nothing I have ever learned in life prepared me for my son’s total break with reality. There were no parenting books out there to tell me how to communicate with a child who is talking to voices that are not there? No helpful neighbors giving me tips on how to deal with a crisis situation, no casseroles coming to my door or town fundraisers to help the family. We were utterly on our own.

I was a lucky one, though! The very first time my son had been put into the hospital, a social worker handed me a worn out, copied so many times it was almost too light to read, paper with information on an organization called NAMI Massachusetts and a free program called Family to Family (F2F). Being a mom, I wanted to take all my son’s pain away so I reached for anything out there that could help, which thankfully for me was taking that course on the very same month.

I walked in that class room with my mom at my side, not knowing what to expect…nervous about talking and looking for a magic bullet. Well, sorry to say I found no magic bullet, but what I found saved my life! Everything I learned in that course has given me direction through these past 8 years. I learned about the illness and the meds…I practiced communication skills & did empathy exercises…I learned that it was ok to still laugh, to still care for myself and in doing so I was better able to care for my son. I made friends and created support!

Tim told me one day that “I was the only one who he could really talk to without being afraid of how I would react.” Because of F2F I remained calm when my son tried to commit suicide. I stayed by his side and understood what was going on in his head and never judged his choice, (not that I believe his choice was correct!) only held his hand while he became well enough to return home again.

I have come a long way since that first time…I have also chosen to pass this wonderful course onto others and became a F2F teacher, then a state teacher trainer and now the coordinator of all the F2F courses through Massachusetts.

I tell my son, that because of him, I am able to help so many other family members out there. The ones who cannot find that book or neighbor for help…the ones who are always looking for a magic bullet…This course in my eyes is the single most important thing I did for myself, my family & my son that year…and every year after.

Karen McGravey-Gajera

Proud mom of Timmy!