2017 NAMI CCNS Summer Family to Family

REGISTER TODAY! 2017 Summer Family to Family (of Adults) Class

Here is the Summer 2017 Schedule for Family to Family

* Click to download a PDF *

2017 NAMI CCNS Summer Family to Family

Please call Fay Anderson for more information:  847-716-2252 or or use our CLASS INQUIRY FORM


Do You Have a Loved One Living with Mental Illness?

NAMI Cook County North Suburban Offers Free

Family to Family Education Programs

Education and Support for Families who have adult relatives with mental illness.

The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program

is a 12-week course for families and close friends of adults with mental illness.

This course is taught by trained teachers who are also family members and know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and other disorders.

Many family members describe this experience as life-changing.  Join the thousands of families, just like yours, who have gained information, understanding, and support.

  Family to Family participants:

  • Learn about family responses to the trauma of mental illness
  • Receive current information on serious mental illnesses
  • Learn about symptoms, medications and side effects
  • Practice problem-solving skills and communication techniques
  • Develop strategies for handling crises and relapses
  • Learn about local community resources and supports
  • Focus on self-care and coping with stress


Summer – 2017     

Tuesday evenings, June 6 – August 29, (off July 4) 6:30 – 9:00 pm,

                at Skokie Hospital, 9600 Gross Point Rd, Skokie

               Free, but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED  please call 847-716-2252

Commitment to attend the 12 classes is required

Sponsored by NAMI Cook County North Suburban   847-716-2252 Visit us at

Family to Family Classes

Class 1 – Introduction To Family to Family Education
The first class is used to introduce the Co-Trainers and welcome the class attendees. An overview of the 12 week course is also provided. The first day focuses on the course curriculum, our emotional reactions to mental illness, getting to know each other, our personal belief systems, our personal goals and general understanding of illness symptoms as outlined.

Class 2 – The 3 Major Mental Illnesses/Critical Periods
In the second class, the format will change slightly to begin with a lecture on the symptoms and diagnosis of schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar and schizoaffective disorder. The talk will particularly focus the manic phase of bipolar disorder, psychosis, the process of diagnosis, stigma, myths versus the real risks of mental disorders, and dealing with critical periods in mental illness. The format follows seven immediate questions surrounding these critical periods.

Class 3 – Types and Subtypes of Mood Disorders
In the third class, the group will review mood disorders and anxiety disorders. The symptoms and diagnosis of the various forms of depression are discussed, as well as those of anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The class also learns about the evolution of recognition for these diseases, including the challenges to diagnosis, the relapsing nature of the disorders, and how treatment relates to diagnosis. The class will also learn about overlaps between diagnosis and borderline personality disorder, as well as the significant issue of dual diagnosis and the complications of addiction. The group will also discuss their personal experiences.

Class 4 – Basics About the Brain
The fourth class mixes lectures and discussion about the basics of brain research and how the brain functions with mental illness. The surge in new information from research on the complex biology of the brain has presented discovery after discovery on the physical basis of mental disorders and theories on the edge of new research. The class will also learn and discuss the genetic side of brain disorders, the time of greatest conflict in the stages of consumer recovery and stages of family emotional response, and an overview of the recuperation process.

Class 5 – Problem Solving Workshop
The fifth class focuses takes the problem statement, completed in Class 4, through the Problem Solving Skills Workshop. This Workshop will present structure for the problem pile-up that often occurs in families living with mental illness. Participants will simplify and define the single most important problem, evaluate and use different solution strategies, and set appropriate limits.

Class 6 – Medication Review: Basic Psychopharmacology of Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and Schizophrenia & Key Treatment Issues
The sixth class will return to a feast of information, this time about medications. After establishing the ground rules, the group will learn about and discuss the medication process from molecular level to side effects and helping our loved ones stay on target with regimen adherence. The participants will also learn how to recognize early warning signs of relapse and gain a sense of what our family member is experiencing as they begin treatment.

Class 7 – Inside Mental Illness: Empathy Workshop
In the seventh class, the group will learn more about the perspective, trauma and demoralization experienced by the person living with mental illness. The group will explore two case histories, stories of people with brain disorders and how they adjust and react to this vast alteration of their life circumstances and expectations. Participants will explore how illness relates to self-regard and learn guidelines to help families help their relatives maintain self-esteem and confidence.

Class 8 – Communication Skills Workshop
In the eighth class will focus on improved communication skills with a family member whose illness can inhibit the processing of information as well as family members who are uncertain of how to proceed with emotional expression. The group will learn more about how their family member may be organizing complex ideas and how to exchange emotional information in a more constructive way, as well as practice these methods in a group exercise. This will help family members connect to the person “behind the symptoms”.

Class 9 – Relative Groups/Self-Care
The ninth class serves to introduce ways to care for the self while taking on the responsibility for care of a relative with a mental disorder, particularly when there is so little social and public support for this kind of family crisis. Participants will discuss both the practical and emotional burdens of coping with these types of diseases, overcoming guilt and shame about our feelings regarding our new role in the family. Frankness and honesty are encouraged as the participants meet in small subgroups to share their feelings. The entire group will then discuss ways to achieve a balance between caring for our ill relative while living our own lives as fully as possible.

Class 10 – Recovery & Rehabilitation
The tenth class introduces the new realities of recovery and rehabilitation in mental illness, a change in future possibilities in the lives of our ill loved ones that did not seem possible until ten years ago. The class will also discuss the current system of support, both socially and in terms of community resources, and how to find assistance and advocate for the creation of the best rehabilitation programs. There will also be a one hour special presentation by a visiting speaker.

Class 11 – Advocacy
The eleventh class brings facts about stigma, public misinformation, and social services failures surrounding mental illness. The group will learn more about NAMI’s Campaign for the Mind of America and other campaigns to fight discrimination and demand better services for people with brain disorders. A class discussion will focus on the real need for advocacy and what each individual can do to improve public treatment of mental illness in each community.

Class 12 – Certification & Celebration
The twelfth and final class presents certification of completion of the Family to Family Course. The participants will evaluate their experience and also learn more about local support groups. Last but not least, a celebration of new knowledge and support, as well as a last moment of sharing before the close of the course.


2017 NAMI CCNS NEWSLINE! – April, May, June

* Click for PDF *

Newsline is changing!



NAMI CCNS Newsline is being redesigned to be more user-friendly on our web page and smartphones. A print version will be downloadable. If you have been receiving Newsline in your regular mail, you will continue to receive it.

We plan to issue the next Newsline in July 2017. In the meantime . . .


April, May, June 2017

Mark your calendars!


Monday, April 17

Adolescent Mental Health: Current Trends
Public Education Program
7 pm at the Northbrook Public Library 1201 Cedar Ln, Northbrook, IL 60062

Twenty percent of youth aged 13-18 live with a mental health condition. Complicating matters further is the issue of co-occuring drug abuse. Drug abuse may bring about symptoms of an unrecognized mental illness, while mental disorders can lead to drug abuse, possibly as a means of “self-medication.”Deborah Taber, Administrative Director of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences for the Northshore University Medical System, will review how school demands, drug use, social media and gender identity issues can create a mental health crisis.


Saturday, April 22

Heroes of Mental Health: NAMI CCNS Spring 2017 Benefit
Glen View Club, 100 Golf Road, Golf, Illinois 60029

Please join us on Saturday evening, April 22nd, to celebrate the NAMI CCNS 2017 Heroes of Mental Health. Our Honored Guest Speaker is Suzy Favor Hamilton, three-time Olympian and mental health advocate. Suzy will share her story about her experiences with bipolar disorder as well as her struggles with life during and after running, drawing from her best-selling autobiography, Fast Girl – A Life Spent Running from Madness.

Also being honored are Virgina and Tom Neuckranz, founders of Erika’s Lighthouse; Lundbeck Pharmaceutical Services, LLC; and the Winnetka Congregational Church Women’s Society Benevolence Committee.

The Neuckranzes turned the tragic loss of their daughter Erika, who died by suicide on April 8, 2004 when she was in 8th grade, into a mission to educate school communities about teen depression, eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and empower teens to take charge of their mental health.

Lundbeck Pharmaceutical Services and the Winnetka Congregational Church Women’s Society Benevolence Committee are long-time supporters of NAMI CCNS whose generous gifts have made it possible for us to offer all our programs free of charge to participants.

6:30 pm Cash Bar and Silent Auction
7:30 pm Dinner, Dancing, Program, Silent/Live Auction/Fund to Cause
To purchase tickets or make a donation, go to our web site, email, or call 847-716-2252.


Tuesday, April 25 – May 30

NAMI Basics for Parents
6:30pm at Messiah Lutheran Church
1605 Vernon Avenue, Park Ridge, IL, 60068

If you have a child with emotional or behavioral difficulties, NAMI Basics for Parents can help. The course is free to participants and provides information on the mental health conditions that cause behavioral difficulties, the biology of mental illness, and strategies for advocating for your child at school and with medical professionals, and more. NAMI Basics for Parents “provides help that can’t be found in a doctor’s office,” according to one of our class participants.

To register or learn more, go to our web site, email, or call 847-716-2252.

Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6

Are You Ready To Tag for Mental Health Awareness??

NAMI CCNS holds our annual Tag Day in May to kick of Mental Health Awareness Month.

You can end the stigma surrounding mental illness and raise funds for NAMI CCNS education, support and advocacy programs. All NAMI programs are free-of-charge to participants.

Please share some of your time on May 5th and May 6th from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. To sign up, go to our web site, email, or call 847-716-2252.


Saturday, May 20

StorySLAM: Courage
7 – 9 PM at Sojourner Covenant Church, 1101 Church Street, Evanston

Open Mike for individuals living with a mental health condition – either their own or someone they love – to share their story.
Share and listen. You can change the conversation about mental illness.


Thursday, May 25 to June 8 2017 NAMI CCNS NEWSLINE

Honest, Open, Proud
2 pm at Turning Point, 8324 Skokie Blvd, Skokie

What is your story of living with a mental health diagnosis? Not sure what to say, to whom, and when? Thinking about sharing with someone for the first time or becoming an advocate for mental health? Honest, Open, Proud is a six week workshop that helps individuals living with a mental health condition develop a strategy for sharing their story in a way that that is empowering for you – and for those who listen to your story.


Thursdays, starting May 25 

Dual Solutions Recovery Group
6 pm at Chicago Behavioral Hospital, 555 Wilson Lane, Des Plaines

Dealing with a dual diagnosis can feel challenging and isolating. Support groups allow members to share frustrations, successes, referrals for specialists, where to find the best community resources and tips on what works best when trying to recover. They also form friendships and provide encouragement to stay clean.

All NAMI CCNS support groups continue to be offered regularly:

Connections Recovery Support Groups
• Mondays, 4 – 5:30 pm at Beth Emet Synagogue, 1224 West Dempster, Evanston
• Saturdays, 4 – 5:30 pm at Lutheran General Hospital, 1775 West Dempster, Park Ridge
• First and Third Sundays, 1 – 2:30 pm, Kenneth Young Center Drop-In, 1585 West Dempster, Mt. Prospect

Family Support Groups
• Second and Fourth Mondays, 7 – 8:30 pm at Skokie Hospital Medical Office Building, 9669 Kenton, Skokie
• First and Third Tuesdays, 7-8:30 pm at Lutheran General Hospital Campus, Center for Advance Care Building, 1700 Luther Lane, Park Ridge
• Second Thursday, 7 – 8:30 pm at Highland Park Hospital, 777 Park Avenue West, Highland Park
• Second and Fourth Saturday, 9 – 10:30 am at St. Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Avenue, Evanston

Spanish Language Family Support
• First and Third Tuesdays, 7 – 8:30 pm, 7020 Lawndale, Lincolnwood

Times and locations subject to change. For additional information call 847-716-2252

Amazon Smile fundraiser for NAMI CCNS

You can donate while you shop for others at

Support us when you shop on amazon. #StartWithaSmile at and Amazon donates to NAMI Cook County North Suburban.





Sponsor NAMICCNS 5k Walks & Runs! Sunday September 24, 2017

* Click here for PDF *

Sponsor and donate HERE!

Register to walk/run HERE!


Sponsorship Letter:

It may surprise you to learn that an average of one of every five of the employees at your company/organization will experience a mental health disorder each year.  In fact, the World Health Organization reports that mental illness is the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide.  Most people will struggle with mental illness at some point in their lifetime, either personally or through a close family member or friend. Unfortunately, despite the amount of people struggling with mental health related issues, the concept of mental illness is constantly stigmatized, avoided, and disregarded. As a result, those struggling with mental illness do not always receive the resources, support, and advocacy they need and deserve. NAMI CCNS is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with mental illness and those who love and care for them to provide just that.

On Sunday, September 24, 2017,(Evanston/Northwestern lakefront 5k walk/run) you have the opportunity to help by participating in our national walk/run. The goal is to raise both money and awareness. The proceeds from the 2017 WALK/RUN including money raised through corporate sponsorship will be used by NAMI CCNS in the following ways:

  • To provide support to people with mental illness and to their families
  • To educate families and those who have a mental illness
  • To advocate for nondiscriminatory and equitable policies at the federal, state, and local level and in the private sector
  • To advocate for improved opportunities for housing, rehabilitation, and meaningful jobs
  • To support research into the causes, systems and treatments of brain disorders
  • To support public education programs designed to help eliminate the pervasive stigma surrounding severe mental illness

We urge your organization to sponsor our Walk/RUN not just because of the visibility we can offer, but also because of the support and education NAMI CCNS provides for our community at large at no cost.  With WALK/RUN funding, we hold support groups for those with severe mental illness and their families, teach classes to educate family members, police, and social workers about mental illness, and empower those with severe mental illness to educate the community.

Won’t you please help us meet the many needs of those with mental illness and their families by becoming a Walk sponsor?  NAMI CCNS is requesting a sponsorship for our walk/run 2017.  If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at or at 847-716-2252 or

Thank you in advance for your support.


Susan Ockerlund
Development Director NAMI CCNS


NAMI FaithNet

May 1st – Minds on the Edge, Facing Mental Illness

The NW Suburban Cluster Presents:

Minds on the Edge, Facing Mental Illness
– a multi-platform media project that explores severe mental illness in America

Monday, May 1st
Holy Family
2515 Palatine Road
Inverness, 60067
TO RSVP or for more information please contact:
Sue Geegan

Click here for PDF

2017 May 1st FaithNet event

DBSA – Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – Annual Symposium on April 29

* Click here to register *

DBSA – Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


18th Annual Symposium


Contemporary Approaches to

Mental Health


Evanston Hospital – Frank Auditorium

2650 Ridge Avenue, Evanston IL


Saturday, April 29, 2017

8:00AM – 1:00PM



Christine Barker, LCPC: Mental Health Awareness:

Creating Openness and Acceptance of Our Issues


Corey Goldstein, M.D.: Psychopharmacology

Overview & Update


John F. Gottlieb M.D.: Psychiatric Chronotherapy

in theTreatment of Bipolar Disorders


For info and to register, go to



Save the Date! Tag Day Spring May 5th and 6th 2017!!

National Alliance on Mental Illness Cook County North Suburban


Help end the stigma against mental illness and sign up for TAG DAYS for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Cook County North Suburban.

Volunteers needed on Friday May 5 (6am-6pm) and Saturday 7am-noon

Shifts 2 hours each. We are making life better for everyone with mental health conditions by sharing information and collecting funds needed to keep our programs free!

Help us change how people think about mental illness.

Help us make a difference for those affected by #mentalillness and their families!

Tag day is around the corner and we need volunteers!

Volunteers please email Susan Ockerlund

Together we can make a difference.



North Suburban Housing Wait List Opening

On  October 4, 2016, The Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) will begin accepting pre-applications for one (1) bedroom standard and (1) bedroom Uniform Federal Accessibility Standard units (UFAS) at the following Affordable Housing Community:

North Suburban Housing

215 W. Miner, Arlington Heights, IL & 9238 Gross Point Road, Skokie, IL

Note: Uniform Federal Accessibility Standard Units

These apartments are all one bedroom, one bathroom units that include accessible features such as lower cabinets in the kitchen as well as grab bars and a shower seat in the bathroom.  These units also have wider doorways for easier access for wheelchairs and walkers and accessible controls for heating and air conditioning as well as the shower set at a height that is easier for a wheelchair user to reach.

To qualify for the wait list opening:

  • The head of household or co-head/spouse must be eligible for one of the following preferences: a person 62 years of age or older OR a person 18 years of age or older with a disability;
  • The annual income for a one person household cannot exceed $32,340 and the annual income for a two person household cannot exceed $36,960;
  • Household will be required to pay rent equal up to 30% of their adjusted annual income.

Please note that the HACC will only accept the first 300 completed pre-applications.

Beginning October 4, 2016 Wait List Pre-Application will be available at the following locations during noted business hours.

HACC Wait List & Leasing Department

175 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 350

Chicago, IL 60604

Fax (312) 542-4752

North Suburban Housing Offices:

(See Property Managers)

215 W. Miner, Arlington Heights, IL 60005


9238 Gross Point Road, Skokie, IL 60077


Monday through Friday

8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Closed Wednesdays

IMPORTANT – If you or anyone in your household is a person with a disability and requires a specific accommodation or seeks assistance with the completion of the pre-application, please contact the housing authority via any of the methods listed above, or call (312) 542-4786.

NAMI CCNS AMAZON Smiles fundraiser

Donate to NAMI CCNS with your regular purchases via Amazon Smile!

Direct donations to NAMI CCNS are *always* appreciated, but if you already donate and want to do more…

Do you shop at You can now donate to NAMI Cook County North Suburban every time you make a purchase with amazon. Click through for the link, choose NAMI CCNS, and thank you!

AmazonSmile ( is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shipping features as on The difference is that when customers shop at, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price eligible items to the charitable organizations selected by customers.

You can donate while you shop for others at

Support us when you shop on amazon. #StartWithaSmile at and Amazon donates to NAMI Cook County North Suburban.




NAMI CCNS Family Support Group in Spanish


Note: Click for a printable PDF.2016 NAMI CCNS Family Support Group in Spanish

Family Support Group in Spanish

TIME AND LOCATION: 7:00 – 8:30 pm in Lincolnwood. For family or friends who support a loved one – adolescent or adult – with a mental illness.

Family Support Group in Spanish meets the first and third Tuesday of the month from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, at 7020 Lawndale Ave in Lincolnwood. Free, confidential, no registration.

For info, call 847-716-2252, NAMI CCNS.


Nuestro grupo de apoyo de la familia es para la familia, parejas y amigos de las personas con enfermedades mentales. Te dara la oportunidad de compartir los problemas que estás enfrentando y aprenderas cómo otras personas han aprendido a manejar estos problemas. Escucharas ideas que podran ayudarte a cuidar de ti y de tu familia.

En un ambiente cómodo y seguro podras compartir tus inquietudes y preguntas sobre cuidado de la salud, vivienda, medicamentos, terapeutas y más informacion apropiada.

Podras hablar sin miedo al estigma o a la vergüenza. Conocerás a
personas que han o estan enfrentado problemas similares y tenían las mismas preguntas. Usted se beneficiara de sus conocimientos y apoyo – y usted podra compartir su conocimiento, experiencia y podra brindarles apoyo.

Nuestras reuniones son gratuitas, confidenciales, no se requiere
inscripciones y esta abierto a todos, sean o no miembros de NAMI CCNS.


Duracion: 7:00PM – 8:30PM

Note: Click for a printable PDF.


2017 Spring Basics for Parents Class – *Starts April 25* in Park Ridge

* Click here for PDF download *

Do You Have a Child
with Emotional or Behavioral Difficulties?

NAMI Basics for Parents Class provides Education and Support for You, Your Family, and Your Child

FREE, six week course offered for parents or family caregivers of school-age children and adolescents with mental health issues.

Classes include:

Understanding the illnesses that are causing the behavioral difficulties
The biology of mental illness; getting an accurate diagnosis—, anxiety disorders, depression, ADD, ODD, OCD, childhood bipolar disorder, and others
Tools for the toolbox – communication skills, problem solving, crisis preparation, handling challenging behaviors, and the impact on family members
Record keeping and dealing with the systems your child is involved in school, mental health, and juvenile justice
Taught by trained teachers who are also the parents of children with emotional or behavioral difficulties

Offered Spring 2017– Park Ridge

Messiah Lutheran Church, Park Ridge
1605 Vernon Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068

Tuesday evenings, 6:30—9:00 pm, April 25 – May 30

Call 847-716-2252 for info and to register. 
Commitment to attend the entire six-week course is required.

Participant Perspectives – “This is such a great step-by-step program that walks parents every step of the way. It is as if you are holding their hand through it all.”
“NAMI Basics bridges the gap. It provides help that can’t be found in a doctor’s office.”

Sponsored by NAMI Cook County North Suburban


* Click for PDF flyer download *

National Alliance on Mental Illness – Cook County North Suburban

Welcome to NAMI CCNS
The mission of NAMI Cook County North Suburban is to improve the lives of individuals with serious mental illness and those who love and care for them through education support and advocacy.

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