Calling all parents and caregivers (grandparents, foster parents, aunts, uncles, etc.) of children 14 and under who are suffering with a brain disorder or mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness Douglas County wants to help.

NAMI Douglas County has many reasons and successes to celebrate in 2019, but more on that later. First off we want to let every parent or caregiver described above to know your family does not have to suffer alone.

There are people and resources and answers to help you negotiate the uncertain and traumatic world of childhood mental health conditions or brain disorders.

We know that as difficult as it is to deal with the symptoms and traumas and burdens that a mental health condition presents within a family, it can be doubly difficult when the one who suffers is under 14. NAMI Douglas County reassures you, you do not have to suffer alone.

In partnership with, and on account of the generosity of the Ford Family Foundation, we are offering a new NAMI program in the Roseburg area called Basics. Basics happens once per week, in sessions of 2½ hours each, for six weeks.

Basics is a signature NAMI program for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental health conditions. Basics, in 6 evening weekly sessions, helps the family gain confidence and stamina for what can be a lifelong role. Learning how to maintain understanding and support, gaining practical insights, empowering family members to advocate for their children, using advanced technology to access vitally important information, these are the objectives of Basics.

These objectives are realized in a group of other parents and caregivers who are experiencing the same challenges and difficulties. Basics is free to all participants. Also at no cost to participants, the Ford Family Foundation is offering babysitting plus a meal for the children in the family, while the class is in session.

Sound too good to be true? Do not hesitate to call Barbara Hofford, one of our school health nurses here in Douglas County, and a NAMI member, who helps to lead the class. Barb’s number is: 541-673-6378

Joining with Barb in leading the program is a parent who has faced the same issues. If there is any parent out there who says, ‘gee, I could do that, I struggled with these same issues,’ please, do not hesitate to call Barb as well.

NAMI Oregon has received a $25,000 grant from The Ford Family Foundation to expand Basics and Ending the Silence programs into rural communities in our state.

Of course, Douglas County qualifies. We would like to see Basics and Ending the Silence taught all across our county, but we need more presenters!

In early summer, NAMI is offering training sessions for Douglas County residents who qualify. Call Barb!

As well as Basics, there is a second new NAMI signature course being taught in the high school and middle school classrooms in Douglas County. This program is called Ending the Silence, and it is brought to young people in their health classes.

Ending the Silence uses two presenters. One is a young person who is currently experiencing recovery, who experienced having a mental health condition during their school years.

The second is an adult who has experience of mental illness within their family. The purpose of the presentations is first, to reduce the stigma of mental illness within the students, but also to help them recognize mental health conditions in their friends or in their own lives, to let them know where help is available, and to help them see that recovery is possible. Such a valuable class!

Ending the Silence has been getting rave reviews wherever it has been presented. If you’d like to see a short promotional video about the class, go to the NAMI Oregon website, click on programs, and find Ending the Silence to view the video.

We encourage educators throughout our county to make use of this valuable resource. Again, you may call Barb at: 673-6378

As if these two new NAMI signature courses aren’t enough good news for our county, we at NAMI are very excited about our Chadwick Clubhouse, a recovery day program that has been in operation in Roseburg since November for adults living with a serious mental illness, and which is growing by leaps and bounds. I plan to write more about the Clubhouse next month.

Another development: We were very excited to learn in Friday, March 8 News Review, that George Fox University, consulting with Oregonians for Rural Health, is considering opening a med-ed facility in Roseburg. The News Review reported, according to Linda Samek, provost for the university, “We currently have a wide range of healthcare and mental health programs that are needed in the area.”

We are excited and hopeful, and, as we at NAMI Douglas County see it, these many changes in the ways we address mental health issues in our county could not come soon enough!

If you or a family member struggles with a mental illness, please know that you are welcome to attend our monthly information and support group at the Vine Street Baptist Church on the first Monday of every month at 6 PM. Our next meeting is May 6.

Dorothy Moll is a member of the Douglas County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She can be reached at dmoll1922@gmail.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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