National Alliance on Mental Health comes to the Plateau

The Family-to-Family seminar program aims to help family and friends understand mental illness and how to help their loved ones.

Nearly 53 million Americans — nearly 1 in 5 — are estimated to suffer from mental illness, from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and post-traumatic stress.

And despite how common of an issue this is, only about half of people who have a mental illness receive some sort of service or support.

To help educate people about mental illness and how to support those who are afflicted, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is bringing mental health education and support programs to the South King County area, including Black Diamond and Enumclaw.

First, NAMI’s Family-to-Family program will be starting up Oct. 19. It’s a free online course that runs on Wednesday nights, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 14.

The program aims to help family members, friends, and significant others living with or helping care for someone with a mental illness educate themselves and others. This is not a drop-in, drop-out seminar; participants should try to make all sessions.

“The Family-to-Family weekly group is managed by family members with similar experiences, and provides information and strategies for taking care of the person you love by demonstrating you are not alone, recovery is possible, and there is always hope,” Robin Hinz, the rural program coordinator for NAMI South King County, said in a prepared statement. “You’ll gain skills to communicate effectively, solve problems, manage your stress levels, learn compassionate responses, get up-to-date information on mental health conditions, crisis intervention, current treatments and therapies and come to understand the impact of mental health conditions on the entire family.”

To register for the course, head to and click the “Support and Education” tab.

Additionally, NAMI is also offering a virtual support program for Black and indigenous people of color every Tuesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. To register, head to

Finally, NAMI is offering Ending Silence presentations that specialize in helping middle school and high school students recognize signs of mental illness in themselves or a friend, and how to get help. There are also presentations for teachers and families as well.

To request these one-hour presentation, head to