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Training For Families Of People With Mental Health Conditions

BEND, OR -- Homelessness, drug use and mental illness are often lumped together. But Pastor Kally Elliott, with Bend’s First Presbyterian Church, says not everyone with a mental health condition is an unsheltered addict, "A lot of them live pretty healthy lives and stable lives. And yet, there still are times of crisis, and they still have loved ones who care about their wellbeing and about their own wellbeing. And it still can be a bumpy ride."

Elliott is also a National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Central Oregon board member. She’ll co-lead an eight-week training for families to learn how to provide support to loved ones, "Just how to care for yourself, how to care for your loved one, where to find support in the community, what to do in a crisis with your loved one. It gives you tools for how to help the relationship along." She tells KBND News, "I think it also just provides a sense that you’re not alone in this; that there are lots of other people in your own community that are living this life with you and walking this road with you." Elliott adds, "It’s about being able to find space to breathe, either before or in the midst of, or even after a crisis. And finding people to walk alongside you as you take that deep breath."

NAMI’s Family to Family class is held at First Presbyterian Church (230 NE 9th St. Bend) Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., January 17 - March 6. It's free but pre-registration is required. Email NAMI to register. 

Updated 01/10/24 to reflect new dates. Due to inclement weather, the group will delay by one week.


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