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Classes and Programs

NAMI offers a number of education and training opportunities for family members, consumers, providers and the general public.

These programs utilize the experience and insights of family members and individuals who have been afflicted with mental illness. These individuals have learned to live or are still learning to live with mental illness in their lives and are dedicated volunteers anxious to help others.


NAMI Ending the Silence presenters are trained to provide community outreach and marketing for the program. In addition to traditional methods of outreach, such as flyers and brochures, NAMI Ending the Silence is promoted electronically via newsletters, websites and social media maintained by NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates. As with other NAMI education and support programs, NAMI Ending the Silence offers a vital community resource while also raising public awareness of NAMI in general and introduces NAMI to audiences who do not already know about us.

In Southwest Michigan, we teach the NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program, which is an 11 session educational program designed for family members, partners, significant others and friends of adults living with a mental illness. The course is offered twice annually. Class size is limited to a maximum of 25 persons.

A guiding principal of this program is “You don’t have to deal with mental illness in isolation!” This NAMI program is a designated evidence-based program, which means research has shown that the program significantly improves a participant’s “living with mental illness”, coping, and problem solving abilities.

The Family-to-Family Program is taught by NAMI-trained and certified volunteers, from NAMI Southwest Michigan, who have “lived experience” with a family member experiencing a serious mental illness. The program covers the information, concepts, skills and issues needed to understand, support, manage and cope with a family member or friend with serious mental illness.

Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS), in support of the Family-to-Family Program, has partnered with NAMI Southwest Michigan, and will provide a Family Support Specialist to assist program participants as needed, Their Family Support Specialist will provide over-the-telephone, or in-person, emotional support and education while helping to problem solve, clarify options and cope during times of crisis. For information about the Family-to-Family Education Program, and registration contact:

General Southwest Michigan Affiliate Monthly Meetings are free, open to the general public and are held the first Thursday of each month (except July and August). These meetings are held at the Pathways Building, 119 West Vine Street, Kalamazoo, MI.  The meetings begin at 6:30 pm. Suggestions for future meeting topics and speakers are welcome.


Educational Outreach/Speakers Bureau– Peer volunteer speakers come with a tremendous amount of experience and insight. They do free presentations to civic, religious, education, community and professional groups and are available on request. Please contact Recovery Institute, 326 West Kalamazoo Ave, Suite 320, Kalamazoo, MI ( for more  information. These may include talks on the nature of metal illness, family experiences, public policy, stigma, the mental health system, etc. We will tailor the presentation to the specific interest, forum or conference. For more information call or contact Sean Harris at 269-343-6725 or,

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