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By Lisa Loving | The Skanner News
Published: 20 March 2014

A nationally recognized class for families whose adult loved ones live with mental health issues starts the week of April first at three locations in Multnomah County.

The 12-week course, conducted by volunteers of the Multnomah Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is offered at no charge to participants. Exact time and location will be provided upon registration.  To register, call 503-228-5692. 

Classes meet once a week for two and one-half hours at these locations: Tuesday evenings at Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center—this class features an entire session devoted exclusively to post-traumatic stress disorder; Thursday evenings in the Lloyd Center area; and; Saturday mornings near Providence Portland Medical Center

The course is designed for parents, spouses, children, siblings and friends of adults with mental health issues. The curriculum, designed by a NAMI mental-health professional, is taught by specially trained volunteers whose own family members live with mental illness.

Classes cover effective communication and problem-solving skills for family members; how to deal with a crisis; the biology of brain disorders; addiction disorders and mental illness; the criteria doctors use to diagnose the major mental illnesses; as well as up-to-date information on psychiatric medications, brain research and other issues. 

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