Series helps families care for mentally ill loved ones

MARQUETTE — Family members of those diagnosed with a mental illness may benefit from a 12-week “Family to Family” education course to be offered by National Alliance on Mental Illness of Alger-Marquette.

The series of free and confidential classes will be 6 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesdays from Sept. 18 to Dec. 4 at 129 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette.

The course will cover a broad range of topics, including information about schizophrenia; mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and major depression; panic disorder; obsessive compulsive disorder; and PTSD.

Presented by trained educators, this will be the 14th time this class has been offered in Marquette area. To date, more than 200,000 family members in 48 states across the country have completed the course.

The course is designed specifically for parents, siblings, spouses, teenage and adult children, significant others and friends of people with a mental illness. This course also helps people understand this is an illness and not something they can just “deal with it, shape up,” as most times those with such conditions have no control over their actions.

Responses from previous family members who took the class are: “I feel the course has saved my family,” “I no longer blame myself for my child’s illness,” “This course has given me a broader understanding of the diagnosis and more comfort in speaking about this to others.”

With the tragedies of well-known public figures dealing with depression, NAMI maintains the timing of this class is more important than ever for families to learn more about the types of mental illnesses.

Those interested should call by Tuesday to register for the classes; however, NAMI will accept new class members until Sept. 25.

For further information or to register, contact Louise Wilcox at 906-235-0231, or Cindy Bertucci at 906-360-7107.