NAMI Basics

NAMI Basics Logo

“This class was unexpectedly wonderful! I did not expect to learn so very, very much! This program is well-written with excellent segues between topics. It covers so much more than BASICS—the title doesn’t do it justice.” 


NAMI  Basics  is a free, 6-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and youth who are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition or whom have already been diagnosed. NAMI Basics  is offered in a group setting so you can connect with other people face-to-face. You’ll learn the facts about mental health conditions and how best to support your child at home, at school and when they’re getting medical care. The course is taught by a trained team with lived experience—they know what you’re going through because they’ve been there. The 6-session program provides critical strategies for taking care of your child and learning the ropes of resiliency and recovery. NAMI Basics is available both in person and online through  NAMI Basics OnDemand. 

NAMI Basics on Demand 

The OnDemand program is also guided by parents and family members with lived experience but is self-paced and available 24/7. OnDemand offers the flexibility of participating in the course on  your  schedule. Both formats provide identical information, strategies and the opportunity to connect with other parents and caregivers. If you would like to take NAMI Basics on Demand, please visit:  

Through some local affiliates, the NAMI Basics on Demand program may be paired with in-person or virtual discussion groups.  

NAMI Basics Goals 

At NAMI Basics, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. Learning to cope with your child’s mental health condition is a journey, and there is hope. The group setting of NAMI Basics provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You also can help others with your own experience. 

NAMI Basics covers: 

  • Managing crises, solving problems and communicating effectively 
  • How to take care of yourself and handle stress 
  • Developing the confidence and stamina to support your child with compassion 
  • Advocating for your child’s rights at school and in health care settings 
  • Learning about current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects 
  • Gaining an overview of the public mental health care, school and juvenile justice systems 
  • Understanding the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on your entire family 

NAMI Basics Leaders 

A NAMI  Basics  teacher is a trained NAMI leader. They play an important role in ensuring that all participants feel welcomed and supported. NAMI Basics teachers are uniquely qualified to lead a class because they too are parents who have a child or youth with mental health needs. Teachers therefore can empathize with and encourage those who are just beginning or continuing their journey. A NAMI Basics  teacher ensures that the class achieve educational objectives. 


NAMI Basics in Your Community 

If you are interested in taking NAMI Basics, please contact your local NAMI. Find your Local NAMI 

If you do not have a NAMI affiliate in your county, please contact the NAMI Wisconsin state office at (608) 268-6000 or [email protected]. 

This is a NAMI Signature program. To learn more, please visit: