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NAMI Basics

Programs & Support

About Mental Illness

A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.

What is Recovery?

Recovery from serious mental illness is not only possible, but for many people living with mental illness today, probable. The notion of recovery involves a variety of perspectives.

We're Here to Listen



Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week  1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Call the Pierce County Crisis Line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 800-576-7764

Crisis Text Line: – text 741741 (mobile fees waived)

LGBTQ Trevor Project Support Center: 1-866-488-7386

Call the NAMI Helpline at


Or in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741

NAMI basics logo

The fundamentals of caring for you and your child with mental illness.

NAMI BASICS is a free education program for parents and other care givers of children/adolescents living with mental illness. NAMI drew on course elements which have been extensively tested and found to be highly effective.

These elements include:

  • Recognition of mental illness as a continuing traumatic event for the child and the family
  • Sensitivity to the subjective emotional issues faced by family caregivers and well children in the family
  • Recognition of the need to help reduce the day-to-day objective burdens of care and management
  • Gaining confidence and stamina for what can be a life-long role of family understanding and support
  • Empowerment of caregivers as effective advocates for their children

The NAMI BASICS education program includes the following components:

  • Six 2 1/2 hour classes of instructional material, discussions and interactive exercises
  • A section of the NAMI website dedicated to disseminating information, including informational videos and resources for the program
  • In addition to the core six classes, additional topic modules will be available for independent presentations

Who is this class for? This class is for parents and other family caregivers of children and adolescents who have either been diagnosed with a mental health condition or who are experiencing symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed.
How long is this class? This class consists of 6 weekly educational sessions.
Who teaches this class? The course is taught by a trained team with lived experience — they know what you’re going through because they’ve been there.
What happens in the class? This class incorporates presentations, discussion, and exercises.

“The reason why this program is such a valuable resource for us is that it puts a human face on people who are living successfully with a mental illness.”

Last year, 99% of participants told us they would recommend the program to other parents.

Interested? View our Calendar of upcoming events or Contact us for more information.

From Next Door To Across Pierce County

Become a Member

Become a part of NAMI! Subscribe to the latest mental health updates, participate in an online discussion group, learn how to advocate in your community and add your voice to the mental health movement.

Get Involved

Thank you for your generous tax-deductible donation. You are helping us provide support, education, and advocacy to thousands of people living with mental illness in Washington.

Get In Touch

The families and members of NAMI Pierce County are here to help! We offer understanding to anyone concerned about mental illnesses and the treatment of mental illness.