Family-to-Family teachers Tamie Callahan and Kelsey Ayer, who just taught a class together this spring tell us about their volunteer experience.

How long have you been teaching Family-to-Family?

Tamie: For over 15 years.

Kelsey: Just started this year with my first Family-to-Family class.

Why did you choose to become a F2F teacher?

Tamie: It’s what I wish had been around when I was caretaking my mother.

Kelsey: I took the class and wished I had taken it years ago (and hope my entire family will take it).  I found my learnings have been so helpful in my interactions with my loved ones, so I wanted to be a part of giving more people the chance to take the class by jumping in as a volunteer.

Can you tell us about the best part(s) of teaching F2F?

Tamie: Watching peoples’ attitudes evolve.

Kelsey: Connecting with others who have been in similar circumstances and being a part of the lightbulb or “a-ha” moments as people take in new perspectives

What would you share with other family members navigating this journey?

Tamie: Don’t give up.

Kelsey: Take the time you need for yourself too… put your mask on before helping others.

Learn more about our Family-to-Family Class

NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 8-session educational program for family, partners and friends of people living with mental illness. It is a designated evidenced-based program. Research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to an individual living with a mental health condition.

NAMI Family-to-Family (also available in Spanish as De Familia a Familia) is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises. Add your name to our early notification list to find out as soon as we schedule upcoming classes. Email to find out more about our Spanish programs.