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Peer-to-Peer is a unique, experiential learning program for people with any serious mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery. The course was written by Kathryn Cohan McNulty, a person with a psychiatric disability who is also a former provider and manager in the mental health field and a longtime mutual support group member and facilitator. An advisory board comprised of consumer members of NAMI, in consultation with Joyce Burland, Ph.D., author of the successful NAMI Family-to-Family Education Course, guided the curriculum's development.

Mentors are trained in weekend-long training sessions and supplied with teaching manuals. Participants come away from the course with a binder of hand-out materials, as well as many other tangible resources:

  • An advance directive
  • A "relapse prevention plan" to help identify tell-tale feelings, thoughts, behavior or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organize for intervention
  • Mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking
  • Survival skills for working with providers and the general public

Each class contains a combination of lecture and interactive exercise material and closes with Mindfulness Practice (techniques offered to develop and expand awareness). Each class builds on the one before: attendance each week, therefore, is required.

The Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education Course topics include:

  • Stigma and discrimination
  • Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression: Thoughts, Feelings, Sleep
  • Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Senses, Behavior
  • Story Telling
  • Language and emotions
  • Addictions, spirituality, medication
  • Coping strategies and decision making
  • Relationships
  • Empowerment, Advocacy

For information about future classes please contact the NMMI office at (760) 722-3754 or e-mail