A group of Geauga County residents took the Family to Family Class in the fall of 2006 when it was offered at a Geauga County site for the first time with support from the Geauga Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services and NAMI Lake County. We found the information and support in this class so valuable that we felt it was essential to form a chapter in Geauga County.
Within two short years we were official. We held elections for our officers and published our first newsletter in July, 2006.
We met on the first Thursday of each month for our business meeting and support group. On the third Thursday of each month we held an educational meeting. We invited doctors, pharmacists, safety officers and educators to educate us further. We had members trained to offer our own sessions of Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer and NAMI Basics. We felt we were on our way to providing education to Geauga County about mental illness.
We added support groups for both peers and for family and friends of those with mental illness.We provided these groups in three locations in the county. One of the groups is unique in that both peers and family and friends meet together for the first 15 minutes of the session and then the group divides into the two focus groups.
By 2014, we honed our meetings to include peer support, family and friends support, support in Middlefield and Chardon and Chesterland. We hold education classes for Family-to-Family, Peer-to-Peer, and NAMI Basics. With the growing need, we have future plans to implement more NAMI programs. We have had many very informative speaker meetings and now hold these meetings quarterly. Twice a year we host a social gathering such as a picnic or holiday dinner. We have a crafters group that meets twice a month to make beautiful items that are sold at our speaker meetings and special events. Visit our advocacy page to find out more.
Today our membership continues to grow as we continue our efforts to offer support, education and advocacy for those affected by mental illness. We are well on our way! Please join us!