Original Paper

Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 439-442

First online:

An Evaluation of the NAMI Basics Program

  • Teri BristerAffiliated withNational Alliance on Mental Illness
  • , Mary A. CavaleriAffiliated withNew York State Psychiatric Institute Email author 
  • , S. Serene OlinAffiliated withNew York State Psychiatric Institute
  • , Sa ShenAffiliated withNew York State Psychiatric Institute
  • , Barbara J. BurnsAffiliated withDuke University School of Medicine
  • , Kimberly E. HoagwoodAffiliated withNew York State Psychiatric Institute

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This brief report describes results from an evaluation of NAMI Basics, a peer-delivered family education program for family caregivers of children and adolescents with mental illness. Over six classes, family members are given information (e.g. education about mental illness and treatments), skills training (e.g. family communication skills) and advocacy support. We report data from 36 caregivers who completed pre and posttest instruments measuring self-care, empowerment, and family problem-solving and communication skills. Results showed significant improvements in self-care, empowerment, and “incendiary” family communication after participation in the program. Results suggest that NAMI Basics may improve both parental functioning and familial processes. Implications and future directions are discussed.


Peer delivered Peer-to-peer Family support Children’s mental health