Free Mental Health Classes

The fifth annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family Education Program starts this week at Grace Lutheran Church at 2369 Barrett Ave. in Richmond. The free 12-week course, which runs through Dec. 6, covers the major mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, borderline personality disorder, major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. These mental health-healing conversations are designed to help spouses, siblings, children, parents, cousins and close friends of a loved one suffering from a severe and persistent mental illness. Family members who are sick from stress should know they are not alone and need not suffer this pain. There are solutions. The program follows the curriculum medical model developed by Dr. Joyce Burland. According to past Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, mental illness carries a stigma that is influenced by culture, class, race, ancestral nationality, gender and age. He said that quality of care differs disproportionately among poor people, the homeless, African American, Mestizo Americans, Indigen Americans and Asian Americans due to cultural, ecologic, economic, political and social factors. Wheel chair access is available. For information call Baby Raff at (510) 374-9651, Dolores Ruff at (510) 593-7971 or Dr. Mujahidun Sumchai at (510) 237-9277. E email family2familyrichmond.nami@gmail.com.
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