NAMI Sacramento, Sacramento's Voice on Mental Illness

Nami Basics Classes

Who is this course for?

The NAMI Basics Education Program is a free 6-week course for parents and caregivers of a young child or teen with mental illness, suspected mental illness or behavior concerns. The course provides parents and caregivers with the information they need to take the best care possible of themselves, their family and their child with mental illness.

The child must be aged 17 or younger for the parent/caregiver to be eligible to take NAMI Basics. For parents and caregivers of children aged 18 or older, please see our Family-to-Family program.

Who teaches it?

The NAMI Basics course is taught by trained volunteer teachers who are the parent or caregiver of individuals who developed symptoms of mental illness as a child or teen.

What does it provide?

The NAMI Basics curriculum provides current information about Attention Deficit Disorder, Major Depression , Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Childhood Schizophrenia, Disordered Eating, Self-mutilation (cutting) and Substance Abuse Disorders.

The course provides the following to parents and caregivers:

  • Discussion of the clinical treatment of mental illnesses
  • Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community
  • Knowledge and skills needed to cope effectively with the impacts that mental illness has on the child and family
  • Tools for making the best decisions possible for the child's care.

Course content

Each class contains a combination of lecture and interactive exercise material. Because each class builds on the one before, attendance each week is required.

See the weekly course topic list at right.

Register for the class or become a mentor teacher

See "Registration" at the top right of this page to register.



The next Basics Class will be scheduled in the Fall, 2015.

For more information, or if you would like to get trained to teach this course, send an email to
or call the NAMI Sacramento Office at (916) 364-1642.

NAMI Basics
Course Content

Week 1: Learning about feelings, beliefs and facts.

Week 2: The biology of mental illness; getting an accurate diagnosis.

Week 3: Learning about treatment options; the various mental health professionals; current debates within the field.

Week 4: Objective and subjective family burden; communication; problem solving; crisis preparation; relapse planning.

Week 5: The systems involved with your child, including the mental health system, school system and juvenile justice system; the importance of record keeping.

Week 6: Advocacy; resources; sharing; evaluation.


NAMI Sacramento cannot be held responsible for the use of the information we provide.
Please always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision
regarding treatment of yourself or others.