Discover which education program is right for you.

NAMI Shoreline offers peer-led programs that provide education, skills training, and support.

NAMI Shoreline offers several outstanding, free programs that provide education, skills training, and support.

Our NAMI trained volunteers offer peer-led programs at a variety of community settings along the Shoreline. Those with lived experience offer their unique perspective, fostering connections for those who seek education, skills training, and support.

If you are interested in taking any of our education classes - or would like to volunteer with us - please contact us.

For a list of more NAMI Education programs, please visit the NAMI website.

NAMI Family to Family

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 9-week educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions. It is a designated evidenced-based program. This means that research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to a person with a mental health condition.

NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussions and interactive exercises.

For more information about the curriculum, visit

NAMI Shoreline currently offers two classes per year! Pre-registration required. Class sizes are limited.

Information on classes held in other locations throughout the state may be obtained through the NAMI Connecticut State Office at 860.882.0236.

NAMI Basics

NAMI Basics is a 6-session education program for parents, caregivers and other family who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms. This program is free to participants, 99% of whom say they would recommend the program to others. NAMI Basics is available both in person and online through NAMI Basics OnDemand.

NAMI Basics Covers:

  • The impact mental health conditions can have on your entire family
  • Different types of mental health care professionals, available treatment options and therapies
  • An overview of the public mental health care, school and juvenile justice systems and resources to help you navigate these systems
  • How to advocate for your child’s rights at school and in health care settings
  • How to prepare for and respond to crisis situations (self-harm, suicide attempts, etc.)
  • The importance of taking care of yourself
  • Much, much more

More information about the curriculum.

NAMI Shoreline does not currently offer an in-person NAMI Basics class. Our class is currently online.

Additional information on classes held in other locations throughout the state may be obtained through the state office at 860.882.0236 or visit, and look for Find Help/Education.

Hear from parents who have taken the course.

NAMI Ending the Silence

NAMI Ending the Silence is an engaging presentation that helps audience members learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions and what steps to take if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental health condition.

NAMI Ending the Silence presentations include two leaders: one who shares an informative presentation and a young adult with a mental health condition who shares their journey of recovery. Audience members can ask questions and gain understanding of an often-misunderstood topic. Through dialogue, we can help grow the movement to end stigma.

This program is free of cost to schools and communities

NAMI Ending the Silence for Students: 50-minute presentation designed for middle and high school students that includes warning signs, facts and statistics and how to get help for themselves or a friend. Research has shown that NAMI Ending the Silence for Students is effective in changing middle and high school students’ knowledge and attitudes toward mental health conditions and toward seeking help

NAMI Ending the Silence for School Staff: 1-hour presentation for school staff members that includes information about warning signs, facts and statistics, how to approach students and how to work with families

NAMI Ending the Silence for Families: 1-hour presentation for adults with middle or high school aged youth that includes warning signs, facts and statistics, how to talk with your child and how to work with school staff

Contact Valerie Lepoutre to schedule a NAMI Ending the Silence presentation.

NAMI In Our Own Voice

NAMI Shoreline is currently seeking volunteers to become trained presenters. Please contact us to learn more.

NAMI In Our Own Voice presentations change attitudes, assumptions and ideas about people with mental health conditions. These free, 40-, 60- or 90-minute presentations provide a personal perspective of mental health conditions, as leaders with lived experience talk openly about what it’s like to have a mental health condition.

This presentation provides:

  • An opportunity to hear open and honest perspectives on a highly misunderstood topic
  • A chance to ask leaders questions, allowing for a deeper understanding of mental health conditions and dispelling of stereotypes and misconceptions
  • The understanding that people with mental health conditions have lives enriched by hopes, dreams and goals
  • Information on how to learn more about mental health and get involved with the mental health community

NAMI Provider Education

NAMI Provider introduces mental health professionals to the unique perspectives of people with mental health conditions and their families. You’ll develop enhanced empathy for their daily challenges and recognize the importance of including them in all aspects of the treatment process.

NAMI Provider is a 15-hour program of in-service training taught by a team consisting of an adult with a mental health condition, a family member and a mental health professional who is also a family member or has a mental health condition themselves.

What You’ll Gain

  • Understanding of the realities of having a mental health condition
  • Increased compassion for the vulnerabilities people face when seeking care
  • Recognition of your critical role in the individual and family’s journey towards recovery
  • Empowered view of the lasting impact your care makes

Contact the NAMI Connecticut State Office to schedule a NAMI Provider Education class.

Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS)

Stay tuned for details about our next Parent/Caregiver Class to be announced soon.

CPS is a strengths-based, neurobiologically-grounded approach that brings new ideas and new hope for helping those with behavioral challenges. The CPS approach is based on more than 30 years of research in the neurosciences that demonstrates that challenging kids lack the skill, not the will, to behave well – specifically skills related to problem solving, flexibility, and frustration tolerance. Therefore, unlike traditional models of discipline, the CPS approach avoids the use of power, control, and motivational procedures and instead focuses on building helping relationships and teaching skills largely through a process of teaching parents and loved ones how to resolve chronic problems collaboratively.

Divinna Schmitt, M.Ed., CPS Certified through Think:Kids, runs many CPS Classes (6-week sessions) throughout the year. Divinna offers these classes to you free of charge.

Who Should Attend? Parents, Caregivers: Foster, Adoptive, Step-Parents, Grandparents. All adults living with family with behavioral challenges who seek a new approach.

Thanks to NAMI Shoreline, Divinna is able to offer her Collaborative Problem Solving course multiple times throughout the year at no cost.  Please reach out to learn more.

The Collaborative Problem Solving® approach is developed by Think:Kids, a program based in the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.

Director of Think:Kids, Dr. Stuart Ablon, explains the philosophy of Collaborative Problem Solving.

Check out the FACEBOOK page for relevant articles and notices of upcoming classes: @Challenging Kids: Enlightened Parents

Or go to for more information.

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NAMI Shoreline is a community of people who share the desire to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness and their loved ones. Using our personal experiences, we serve the Connecticut Shoreline by offering free education, resources, support, and advocacy opportunities that align with our mission.

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