NAMI Signature Programs

NAMI Sussex provides two highly acclaimed free courses developed by NAMI National and taught by trained NAMI Sussex volunteers. “Family-to-Family” is a 10-week course for family caregivers of loved ones with mental illness. The curriculum includes coping strategies, communication skills, problem solving techniques, options for treatment, and up-to-date research about mental illness. “The tremendous influence this course has had on my own mental health, as well as that of my ill family member, has been a source of great strength,” wrote one Sussex County participant in her course evaluation. “This course saved my family’s life!” said another graduate recently, more than a year after she completed the course. The Family-to-Family course is offered in fall and spring.  Dates and locations will be announced.

       “NAMI Basics,” a six-week course for parents/guardians of children with mental illness or other behavioral disorders, is also offered Fall and Spring. Our Basics courses generate very positive feedback from participants, a number of whom have gone on to become trained teachers of the course.

       NAMI Sussex was instrumental in bringing NAMI New Jersey’s Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) to Sussex County. In the Fall of 2010, in collaboration with Newton Medical Center’s Psychiatric Emergency Services personnel, we trained all municipal police and county jail corrections officers in how to recognize a mental health crisis and respond compassionately and responsibly. The program also taught the officers about community resources available to help those suffering from mental illness and their family members. Further law enforcement trainings are in the planning stages.

  • Family-to-Family: A free course for those who have a loved one with mental illness Offered in spring 2021.  NAMI Family-to-Family, a free, evidence-based, 8 week program, will be offered online via Zoom on Thursday evenings, 6:30-9:00 p.m., from March 4 to April 29.The course is provided to support and educate family members and close friends of individuals with mental illness.  Participants will learn effective communication skills, problem-solving techniques, and how to manage their own stress and face crises as they arise. Classes will be held Thursdays, March 4 – April 29, 2021, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
    We invite you to call for more information and/or to pre-register for the course.Zoom training will be available to participants who need it.
    Call Jeri at 973-214-0632, 9AM-9PM.

    Pre-registration by phone is required. Class size is limited to 16.
    Priority will be given to Sussex County, NJ residents.

  • Basics course:  A free 6 -session course for parents and other family caregivers with children and teens with emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges – Offered in spring and fall.

NAMI Ending the Silence

A free presentation designed to give audience members an opportunity to learn about mental illness through an informative Power Point, short videos, and personal stories. There are three types of Ending the Silence presentations: one for Students, one for School Staff, and one for Families. Each presentation outlines symptoms of mental health conditions and gives attendees ideas about how to help themselves, friends, or family members who may need support.

Every Ending the Silence presentation includes a young adult who has experienced a mental health condition, who will share his or her personal story of recovery and hope.  The co-presenter can be a caring family member or an individual with the lived experience of coping with a mental health challenge.

We are in the process of recruiting and training presenters. Classroom presentations for middle and high school students, and County College students, are available free of charge.

Ending the Silence Program Coordinators are Ria Smith & Jeri Doherty.  Contact them at or 973-214-0632 to become trained as a presenter or to schedule a presentation!

Preview video


Family Connections is a 12 week skills-based program that offers a lifeline to families facing Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

COURSE CONTENT includes: Education & Research on BPD, Skills training for families based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Relationship Mindfulness, Effective Communication, Validation and Development of a support network.  Next course offering TBD.

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