In Fall 2013 NAMI West Central Indiana began offering Parents and Teachers as Allies, a NAMI mental health education program for school professionals. This approximately 90-minute in-service program focuses on helping school professionals and families within the school community better understand the early warning signs of mental illnesses in children and adolescents and how best to intervene so that youth with mental health treatment needs are linked with services. It also covers the lived experience of mental illnesses and how schools can best communicate with families about mental health related concerns.
This program is designed for teachers, administrators, school health professionals, parents and others in the school community. It is designed to be offered free of charge, held on-site at the schools, and scheduled for the dates/times that work best for each school or school system.
The components of the in-service education program for school professionals include the following:
- Welcome and Introductions – An education professional, who is also a family member, welcomes the school professionals and introduces the topics to be covered, often with a personal story.
- Early Warning Signs of Mental Illnesses – A facilitator walks the school professionals through the early warning signs of mental illnesses, closely following the P&TA publication.
- Family Response – A parent or caregiver of a child with mental illness covers the predictable stages of emotional reactions among family members dealing with the challenges of mental illness and the lived experience of raising a child with a mental illness.
- Living with Mental Illness – A mental health consumer that experienced the early onset of mental illness shares a view from the inside, including a discussion about the positive and negative impact that their school experience had on their life.
- Group Discussion
- Closing Remarks and Evaluation
To bring this program to their schools, education professionals should call 765-423-6939 or send a message to email@example.com.