NEWPORT — When someone in a family has mental illness, the entire family is affected.

The more we learn about mental illness -- depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, OCD and PTSD as well as other mood and anxiety disorders, the better we can cope with the difficulties that arise when one family member’s reality is very different than everyone else’s.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) New Hampshire Chapter is presenting Family-to-Family in Newport, Wednesday evenings from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning March 4. This free, eight-week course is designed for the families and friends of adults who have mental illness and addresses diagnoses, symptoms and behaviors, medication and treatment, communication, boundary-setting, advocacy and most important of all – care for the caregivers.

Through weekly presentations, discussions and role-playing, this class helps family members (and friends) of the individual with mental illness to understand, cope better, worry less and be more productive in their interactions. Participants receive new handouts at each class which they are able to keep for future reference.

For more information or to register for this free, eight-week class, led by NAMI-trained family members, call Pat Whitney at (603) 763-5054 or Kelly Burch at (603 454-8449.

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