What is a typical meeting like? At the start of each group, our facilitators will go over the agenda, group guidelines, and confidentiality statement. We will offer a quick check-in for you to share your first name (or any name you choose) and a current challenge or topic that you want to explore. Our facilitators may offer structure to the conversation depending on the nature of the group. However, for the most part, this support group offers an open and supportive place for sharing and discussion.
Will others be able to see me? No one will be able to see you unless you choose to turn on your webcam by clicking the camera icon. We understand that people have different comfort levels and respect participant's anonymity.
How often do the groups meet? We currently offer one family support group that meets once per month for 90 minutes. The schedule is on our welcome page and at www.namialaska.org.
Who facilitates your support groups? NAMI support groups are peer-led. For our Family Support Groups, facilitators are people who have mental illness in their families. For our Connection groups, facilitators are people who experience mental illness. Our facilitators go through extensive training provided by NAMI state or national trainers and receive ongoing support in their role.
Why are your support groups peer-led? Peers know firsthand that the impact of mental illness, in yourself or in a loved one, is often huge and traumatic. We understand how difficult it can be to find quality information and resources when facing this challenge. As peers, we are uniquely qualified to support others as they cope, adjust, understand, and advocate for themselves or their loved ones.
Are there hand-outs or materials I should review? We have several hand-outs which will be visible when you log-in to the support group meeting. You can also access these and other resources on our welcome page.
What if I don't feel like talking? There is never any pressure to talk or share. At check-in, you can simply say your first name (or any name you choose) and indicate that you're just here to listen today.
What if I need help connecting to additional resources? NAMI Alaska is here as a resource for you and we encourage you to reach out by phone or email. Our welcome page lists NAMI Alaska’s contact information and links to several crisis resources. There may be a local NAMI affiliate in your community which you can locate by visiting www.namilaska.org/local-affiliates.
How is this a free service? Cost should not be a barrier to receiving support and information to help you or a loved one. NAMI Alaska is a nonprofit organization and it does take money and resources to make this program possible. If you are interested and able, we would be grateful for your contributions. Learn about all the ways you can contribute at www.namialaska.org/membership