Dugger said one of the components is reflective listening, where participants can learn from each other. Past classes have produced long-lasting relationships of those supporting each other, some of whom still come back to visit.
“NAMI believes in that. It’s where you find if something works for you then maybe it can work for me,” she said. “The support happens, but education is the goal.”
Another key is the “a-ha moment,” where someone grasps what’s going on. Dugger related the story of a mom intent on blaming her son for his mental illness, but through the program, learned that it was the fault of the illness and not him personally.
Although the 12 weeks seems like a long commitment, Dugger encourages those with a real interest to make the commitment as the steps build upon each other as the weeks succeed.
Another alternative NAMI also offers is a similar program held the fourth Thursday of each month. There will also be another 12-week program offered in August.
“I’m not there as an executive director, I’m there as a peer who has dealt with this in my personal life,” Dugger said. “It can truly change lives and minds.”
To register or for more information, call 937-322-5600 or go to www.namicgm.org/.