A peer-based mutual support groups that meet weekly for 90 minutes of
safe, confidential, personal sharing in a flexible group setting. Groups are open to any adult living with a mental illness or
a psychiatric condition and willing to share with others confidentially in an atmosphere of respect, encouragement, and
Prospective facilitators must have a documented mental health diagnosis and be
at least 18 years of age. They need to have reached a comfortable place in their own recovery, so they can sustain
themselves during the emotional turbulence that can arise in Connection Support Groups.
Connection co-facilitator applicants must agree to co-facilitate a support group meeting in their community for a period
of at least two years. (It is understood that unexpected life situations may necessitate flexibility and compassion in this
The Connection support group is one of NAMI’s signature programs. Facilitators are required to use the Strategies,
Structures, and Processes as written. Connection support group facilitators serve as volunteers. Your affiliate may be
able to help with your mileage or other resources for the support group, by prior agreement between the facilitators
and the affiliate. Key personal attributes for Facilitators are reliability, empathy, and the ability to communicate clearly.
An ability to interpret group members’ non-verbal communication is important.
Facilitators work in pairs to facilitate their weekly groups. They assist and support each other. Each should feel able to
lead the group alone if their co-facilitator is temporarily unavailable. Facilitators also cooperate in preparing a resource
table for participants. Facilitators will be required to upload anonymous attendance data into the National NAMI
Education data collection program.
NAMI Washington will pay for meals, snacks, lodging and all training materials. Your NAMI
affiliate is asked to cover your travel and other expenses that you may incur to attend
this training. Lodging will be at a nearby hotel, and is double occupancy. If you
require single occupancy, arrangements will need to be made prior to attendance by the attendee
and there will be additional costs which will be the responsibility of the attendee.
Attending NAMI trainings is by pre-registration only. Space is limited, and a waiting
list will be created if necessary. Applicants will have a brief telephone interview with
the trainers before final acceptance into the training and the State
office will fill the class based on the critical needs of affiliates.
In order to reserve a space a $50 refundable deposit from
your affiliate will be required upon registration.
If you need to cancel after being
accepted, notify the NAMI Washington staff, no later than a week before the training so
we can fill your spot, or your affiliate will lose its $50 registration deposit.
Cancelled spots are filled with applications from the waiting list for the
class, not by sending another affiliate member.