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.
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.