The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Homefront program produces significant benefits for both in-person and online participants, according to a study published in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association.
NAMI Homefront is an adaptation of the evidence-based NAMI Family-to-Family program designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of active duty military servicemembers and veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other mental health conditions. According to a RAND Corporation study, approximately 18.5 percent of servicemembers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have PTSD or depression, and 19 percent report experiencing a TBI during deployment. Another RAND study found that post-9/11 caregivers are more likely to care for an individual with a mental health or substance use condition than their pre-9/11 or civilian peers and are also more likely to be lacking a network of support.
“We know that NAMI Homefront has helped countless military families across the country and now there is science to prove it,” said Angela Kimball, NAMI Acting CEO. “This study reinforces the vital role family, caregivers and friends can play in supporting servicemembers and veterans with mental health conditions.”
The study saw improvements in empowerment, coping, psychological distress, family functioning, experience of caregiving, and knowledge of mental illness for both in-person as well as online participants.
NAMI Homefront is free to participants and consists of six 2.5-hour peer-taught sessions for the family members, caregivers and friends of military service members and veterans with mental health conditions. The program was launched in 2014 and has enrolled over 2,500 individuals – 1,100 in person, 1,470 online – to date.
Find the NAMI Homefront program nearest to you. If a class isn’t available, sign up for NAMI Homefront Online.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Photo credit: (U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Peña) photo link
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