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NAMI Peer To Peer

What is NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Program?

Peer-to-Peer is a unique, experiential learning program for people with any serious mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery.

  • The course was written by Kathryn Cohan McNulty, a person with a psychiatric disability who is also a former provider and manager in the mental health field and a longtime mutual support group member and facilitator.
  • An advisory board comprised of NAMI consumer members, in consultation with Joyce Burland, Ph.D., author of the successful NAMI Family-to-Family Education program, helped guide the curriculum’s development.
  • Since 2005, NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Recovery Program has been supported by AstraZeneca.

What does the course include?

  • Peer-to-Peer consists of eight two-hour units and is taught by a team of two trained “Mentors” and a volunteer support person who are personally experienced at living well with mental illness.
  • Mentors are trained in an intensive three day training session and are supplied with teaching manuals.
  • Participants come away from the course with a binder of hand-out materials, as well as many other tangible resources: an advance directive; a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behavior, or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organize for intervention; mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking; and survival skills for working with providers and the general public.


Program Overview

Class 1    Getting Started – Mental Health and Recovery:  Exploring different viewpoints of mental health and recovery. Creating a personal vision statement.

Class 2    The Brain and the Body:  Learning about the relationship between mental health and overall physical health. Understanding the impact of the environment and the brain on mental health conditions. SMART goals.

Class 3    Telling My Story:  Sharing personal stories. Exploring the benefits and limitations of mental  health diagnoses.

Class 4     Strengthening Relationships:  Building connections with others. Improving communication skills.

Class 5     Growing Support Networks:  Building a nurturing circle of support.

Class 6     Tools for Enhancing Recovery:  Responding to stress effectively. Learning about different  types of therapies and medications. Looking more closely at goals.

Class 7     My Story, My Strengths:  Understanding personal stories in a new way.  Preparing for conversations with mental health providers.

Class 8     Moving Forward:  Revisiting personal visions. Planning next steps.

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