The Family-to-Family Education Program begins on Thursday, March 10. Presented by the Union County Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), the course meets from 7-9:30 p.m., on Thursdays, over a consecutive 12-week period. Course ends on May 26. It is free-of-charge, with all necessary materials furnished at no cost.

The course is offered specifically to the parents, siblings, spouses, teenage and adult children, and significant others of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. In a confidential setting, loved ones will learn how to understand and support their ill relative while maintaining their own well-being. The program is not appropriate for individuals who, themselves, suffer from one of the major mental disorders. The course is taught by NAMI members who have completed intensive training.

Curriculum topics include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression), clinical depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder etc., the clinical treatment of these illnesses and how caregivers can learn to cope more effectively. Attendees will learn about the biology of the brain, new research, medications, skills needed to successfully communicate with a relative and how to deal with critical periods. Other topics include advocacy, fighting stigma and problem solving.

Classes will meet at St. Agnes Church, 332 Madison Hill Road, Clark. Registration is required prior to the beginning of the course, call 908-233-1628 or email If emailing, please state in subject line F2F class. Refreshments will be served.