NAMI Four County To Offer Free Class For Parents of Children With Mental Health Issues

A free class for parents, grandparents or other caregivers of children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral or mental health issues will be offered next month by NAMI Four County.

The six-week class will be held Monday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. starting October 14 at the Four County ADAMhs Board office, T-761 State Route 66 south of Archbold. The class, called NAMI Basics, was professionally developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
It has three goals for participants.

  • To give the parent or caregiver the basic information necessary to provide the best care possible of their child, their family and themselves.
  • To help the parent or caregiver cope with the impact that mental illness has on the child living with the illness and the entire family, and
  • To provide tools for the parent or caregiver to use after completing the program that will help them make the best decisions possible for the care of the child.

During the six weeks, the following topics and more will be covered: the emotional stages that the family goes through (crisis, shock, denial, grief and acceptance), help to understand what the child or teenager is going through, and current information about and the best practice treatment options for illnesses such as attention deficit disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, anxiety disorders and substance abuse.

Some classes will help the parent with problem-solving, listening and communication skills, while others will focus on strategies that can be helpful when dealing with challenging behaviors of their child. The class will also help the parent or caregiver understand how to seek help from the school system as well as the mental health system. Time will be spent on planning for crisis management and relapse.

Both the class leader, Trisha Vassar, and her assistant, Lisa Holley, were required to complete a training to teach the class. They are also parents of children with emotional, behavioral or mental health issues.

Participants will be given a binder for the numerous hand-outs that they will receive at each class.

Although the class is free, pre-registration is necessary so the appropriate number of hand-outs can be printed. To register or get more information about the class, please call Trisha Vassar at 419/330-9476 or Lisa Holley at 419/438-7384 by October 7.

NAMI Four County is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest advocacy and educational organization for mental health. However, the public is welcome to participate in any classes offered by the local chapter whether they are a member or not at no cost. NAMI Four County meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the ADAMhs Board office.

However, there will be no October meeting. Instead, the chapter will hold its 14th annual Candlelight Vigil for Mental Health starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, October 6 at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 950 Webster St., Defiance. For persons who cannot attend the vigil, but would like to watch the program, it will be taped by TV-26 and broadcast throughout October at 9 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays starting October 9 and concluding October 26.


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