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National Alliance on Mental Illness to offer Spanish course

Date: 3/13/2015

AGAWAM – The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts (NAMI-WM) is offering a three-week NAMI Basics education course in Spanish for parents and caregivers of children and teens with mental illness and emotional and behavioral difficulties.

The class runs on three consecutive Saturdays on April 11, 18 and 25 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Springfield.

Registration is required. The course and all materials are free. To register, please call Maria at 210-7590 or email

NAMI Basics is taught by trained teachers who are parents or caregivers of children and teens who developed emotional and behavioral difficulties prior to the age of 13.

“The NAMI Basics class is a critical form of education and support for those caring for children affected by mental illness and behavioral challenges,” said Basics teacher María Gerena, who will be leading the course. “NAMI Basics provides an important road map to guide them during difficult times.”

Topics covered include attention deficit disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse.

Parents and caregivers will learn about the biology of mental illness, medication therapy, talk therapy, how to keep records important for working with medical and school staff, legal issues, communication and conflict resolution methods, and crisis management.

The course gives parents and caregivers the information necessary to take the best care possible of their child as well as the rest of their family and themselves. Coping skills help alleviate the impact that emotional and behavioral difficulties have on the entire family.

Located in Agawam, NAMI-WM is an affiliate of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

NAMI-WM volunteer members and leaders work tirelessly to raise awareness and provide essential education, advocacy and support group programs for all those affected by mental illness.

To learn more, call the NAMI-WM office at 786-9139 or 800-295-2121, email or visit