NAMI Family-To-Family

NAMI Family-to-Family




Update: NAMI Somerset will be hosting its first virtual Family-to-Family class in January 2021. Stay tuned for more information!

Upcoming class (Coming in 2021):
Wednesday evenings, January 6 – February 24, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Via Zoom
Contact: Carolyn – (908) 285-2238; or
Maureen – (908) 403-9193


The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free, 8-week course for family caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses.

• The course is taught by trained family members
• All instruction and course materials are free to class participants
• Over 300,000 family members have graduated from this national program
• This program significantly improves a family’s ability to cope with an ill relative’s mental disorder, according to an NIMH-funded study published June 2011 in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

NAMI NJ provides the training for the NAMI NJ Family Educator volunteers and the funding for course materials. To find out more about the Family-to-Family program please contact our office at (732) 940-0991 or e-mail


 A tribute video containing moving testimonials about the NAMI Family-to-Family program


What the Course Offers

Current information about schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), panic disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); up-to-date information about medication compliance; discussion of the biological bases of serious mental illnesses, treatment options, and recovery.

Coping Skills gaining empathy by understanding what a person with a serious mental illness experiences; problem-solving, listening, and communication techniques; handling periods of crisis and relapse; care for the caregiver; coping with worry, stress and overload.

Advocacy Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community and obtaining better mental health services; and advocacy for appropriate federal and state policies.

If you are interested in receiving additional information to enroll in a Family-To-Family Education Program or if you would like information on training to become a Family Educator or Family Facilitator please contact our office at (732) 940-0991 or e-mail


The Twelve Education Modules of the Family-to-Family Course

• Learning about feelings, learning about facts
• Introduction to schizophrenia: Diagnosis, critical periods
• Introduction to depression and bipolar illness
• Basics about the brain
• Problem-solving skills workshop
• Medications review
• What it’s like to be mentally ill: Empathy Workshop
• Communications skills workshop
• Relative groups and self-care
• Rehabilitation
• Advocacy: Fighting stigma
• Certification and celebration



NAMI Family-to-Family Hall of Fame 2017:

• Marilyn Goldstein – Trainer for 20 years
• Gail Dembin – Trainer for 20 years
• Martha Silva – Hall of Fame for 12 years


NAMI New Jersey Family-to-Family 2014 Stars:

The following Family-to-Family teachers have taught eight or more classes! 

• Marilyn Goldstein (Teacher and Trainer)
• Gail Dembin (Teacher and Trainer)
• Priscilla Cartwright
• Larry Cartwright
• Rosemary Canuso
• Sue Ferranti
• Marie Fuchida
• Carmen Meyer
• Peggy Whelahan
• Chantal Peronn
• Aurora Protano
• David Protano
• Barbara Kirwan
• Dan Kirwan
• Winifred Chain
• Joan Mahalick
• Pat Roman
• Gary Tucker
• Debra Silver