NAMI Basics is a free, 6-week education program for parents and family caregivers of children and teens who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness 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. Last year, 99% of participants told us they would recommend the program to other parents.

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 recovery.



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 and supporting resources to help you navigate these systems

  • Understanding the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on your entire family.

NAMI Basics OnDemand:

The national organization of NAMI has released an online version of the course, called NAMI Basics OnDemand. 


NAMI recognizes that parents of youth with emotional, behavioral or mental health issues are sometimes unable to get to an in person six-week course.  NAMI Basics OnDemand allows caregivers to access the six-session course at any time, and stop and resume when it is convenient.  It offers both the educational components as well as the opportunity to share stories with other caregivers, in an online format.

Follow the link to participate in this free course: NAMI Basics OnDemand.


NAMI San Francisco would love to get your feedback on this new online course! Email Mary Lee at with your thoughts.  

*Please note:*

The online version of the course does not replace the free in person course and NAMI San Francisco will be scheduling spring 2020 courses in Spanish and English. Family caregivers are welcome to participate in both Basics OnDemand and the in person course!

To be notified of upcoming in person courses please fill out this form.



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Ph: (415) 237-0039

Mailing Address

601 Van Ness, Suite Q

San Francisco, 94102