NAMI Provider Education Program
NAMI Utah provides a free 5-week course in Mental Illness Education and Consumer/Provider/Family Collaboration Skills for Line Staff at Public Mental Health Agencies. The course is held for 5 consecutive weeks, for 2 1/2 hours per session, and for staff convenience, it is offered at an agency site
What is NAMI Provider Education?
The NAMI Provider Education Program is a 5-week course that presents a penetrating, subjective view of family and consumer experiences with serious mental illness to line staff at public agencies who work directly with people experiencing severe and persistent mental illnesses.
The course helps providers realize the hardships that families and consumers face and appreciate the courage and persistence it takes to live with and recover from mental illness.
“I can’t say enough about the Provider Education Program. When I went through the course, I kept thinking ‘what a wonderful learning experience that all our staff need to have.’ The five members of the teaching team were great. I have been working at the hospital for 20 years, and this is one of the best programs I have been through for staff. We have worked hard over the years to create a more humanistic and compassionate culture. This program will definitely help us in that direction.”
-– Assistant Clinical Director, Utah State Hospital
How is the Provider Education course unique?
The Provider Course emphasizes the involvement of consumers and family members as faculty in provider-staff training. The teaching team consists of five people:
Few teaching programs employ consumers in this kind of sustained training effort in which they are paid to participate on a teaching team as they present a 5-week course.
The course reflects a new knowledge base -- the “lived experiences” of people coping with a mental illness or caring for someone who lives with a mental illness. Including this deeply personal perspective creates an appreciable difference in the program’s content. It adds a means of teaching the emotional aspects and practical consequences of these illnesses to the academic medical information in the course.
NAMI Provider Education Program: A Sample of Participants’ Responses
“By hearing so many different views on mental illness I have learned so much more than I would have by just having one person teaching & lecturing. This is the most useful & informative course I have ever taken. Please try to get as many providers as possible to take this course!”
“I have learned more about the unique circumstances and struggles that those with mental illness go through, as well as the difficulty family members have in understanding what their loved one is going through. I have been impressed with the caliber of people who have presented and their willingness to share their personal pain with mental illness.”
“I have become more aware of how much those with mental illness have to overcome and the day-to-day struggles they face. I also have gained a greater understanding of the challenges that the families go through and how much they get the brunt/blame for their family member’s illness. I have made the decision to be more empathic with consumers and their families and to have a more positive attitude on their ability to overcome their illness.”
“Overall I think this course should be mandatory for every provider trying to help others with an illness.”
We all need nutrition to support our bodies. A poor diet equals poor health, contributing to obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes - conditions that many people living with mental illness are at a high risk of developing. Nutrition is important for everyone. If you are living with mental illness, eating well is especially important for you, because what you eat can affect your daily life, mood and energy level. Healthy eating is not about being thin or deprivation. Healthy eating is about feeling good, having more energy, participating in your recovery and mapping out your future. Simply put, healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to improve wellness. Dietary guidelines set by the USDA state that a healthy diet is one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat free or low fat milk products. A healthy diet should include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Be sure to limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. Lear more about the U.S. government's guidlelines by reveiwing the food pyramid: mypyramid.gov.