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Peer-to-Peer Class for Individuals with Mental Illness

NAMI of Central Virginia will sponsor a Free Peer-to-Peer Education Program specifically for adults with mental illness. The 10-week series of classes take place on Wednesday of each week. Classes will start on May 1, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA), 107 South 5th Street, Richmond, VA.

The free 10-week course offers a holistic approach to recovery through a combination of lecture, discussion, interactive exercises and stress-management techniques. The Peer-to-Peer class will offer further insight into mental health and knowledge about how to cope with difficult circumstances, identify feelings, thoughts, behaviors and events that can result in a possible relapse. The class provides information on how to be an active participant in ones treatment plan. Knowledge about strengthening interpersonal relations, and the sharing of experiences with peers who are also working toward recovery. Some questions answered in Peer-to-Peer include: What do I do in a crisis? How can I help prevent a relapse? How do I take care of myself in all of this? What is an Advanced Medical Directive and how do I get one? Join people like you who are interested in learning about recovery and gain knowledge about: Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Dual Diagnosis, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The curriculum has been written by an experienced consumer and mental health professional and the course will be taught by NAMI consumer member volunteers who have taken intensive training as course mentors.

“This course is a wonderful experience!” says program director Kathy Harkey, “It balances basic psycho-education and skill-training with emotional support, self-care and empowerment. We hope people with a mental illness will take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

The course is designed specifically for peers living with a mental illness. The course is not appropriate for family members who have a loved one with a mental illness. NAMI-CVA offers a separate course, Family-to-Family education, for individuals who have a family member with a major mental illness.

The NAMI Peer-to-Peer Education Course is free. For more information or to register, call the NAMI Peer-to-Peer Program Director, Kathy Harkey at 804-285-1749 or email

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