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SALT LAKE CITY — When Wendy Fails’ daughter Kelsey was in seventh grade, she experienced what doctors later determined was a psychotic break. Overnight, Kelsey transformed from a student that every teacher wanted to clone into a student who had problems at school and who spent a lot of time alone and refused to talk to her family. .
“It was a very confusing time for us and for Kelsey. We felt very alone, and so did she,” Wendy Fails said.
Helping your loved one manage their mental health may require a learning curve. That’s why her NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offers classes to educate and empower parents and caregivers.
“Years later, I learned about a class that was very helpful to all of us at the time,” Wendy explained.
NAMI Basics and Progression are free courses offered by NAMI Utah.
NAMI Basics is a six-week course designed for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or have symptoms but have not yet received a formal diagnosis. This course covers everything from the biology behind mental health conditions to practical tools for communicating effectively with children and the various care systems that children interact with (mental health, education, juvenile justice, etc.). We cover everything from institutions (such as institutions).
“Learn what confusing acronyms like APRN, LCSW, and IEP stand for,” explained Wendy Fails, now a certified basic teacher. “You’ll learn how to set up a record-keeping system to record all the things you don’t even think about when you’re in the middle of a crisis, like appointments, doses, and medication changes. You know you’re not the only parent going through this.”
Nami Utah’s Progression Course is a free six-week class for teens with mental health conditions. In a safe and supportive environment, teens meet teens with mental illness and learn about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and ways to live a fulfilling life with mental illness. Learn all about mental illness, including tips. Progression instructors are young people who experienced mental illness for the first time as teenagers.
Kelsey Fails spent several years as a progression instructor. “I wish this class had been available when I was first diagnosed,” she said. “I’ve lost friends to mental illness, and I sometimes wonder if they would still be here if they had access to progression.”
If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling in a NAMI Basic or Progression course, please register here.