NAMI Peer-to-Peer

What People are Saying about the Program

This course has literally been a lifesaver. It has opened my eyes to better understanding my illness and methods of recovery I did not know about before taking NAMI Peer-to-Peer.”

“What really stood out for me [in NAMI Peer-to-Peer] was the fact that there is a way to live with mental illness and that it is a brain disorder and not something that I did wrong.”


NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free, 8-session class for adults living with a mental health challenge. The class content includes a wide range of topics related to mental health wellness designed to assist individuals in reaching and maintaining mental wellness, including information on various aspects of mental health and recovery. Classes follow a structured educational format that includes opportunity for peer connection and support through learned wisdom and group discussion.

Much of the NAMI Peer-to-Peer class content is geared at tapping into known resiliency factors in order to provide individuals with a wide range of tools, information, skills and connections to enhance their ability to be successful in managing their mental health condition.

Program Goals

To educate and empower. The goal of NAMI Peer-to-Peer is to provide current information and resources around the major mental illnesses and recovery while also providing specific skills around maintaining and enhancing individual recovery. Specific elements include:

  • Current information about the major mental illnesses and the most current research available on the biological aspects of these illnesses.
  • Current information on the possibilities for living in recovery, including a variety of treatment strategies currently available.
  • Specific skills training in the areas of problem solving, listening, communication techniques and handling crises and relapse.
  • Guidance on locating appropriate supports and services within the community and offer tips of advocating for those supports and services.

Who Leads the Program

NAMI Peer-to-Peer mentors are trained NAMI leaders. They play an important role in ensuring that all participants feel welcomed, supported and informed. NAMI Peer-to-Peer mentors are uniquely qualified to lead education because they are going through their own recovery process. Mentors, therefore, can empathize with, encourage, and share personal wisdom with those who are just beginning the journey of mental health recovery. NAMI Peer-to-Peer mentors ensure that the class achieves the educational objectives.

How to Find the Program in your Community

Find your Local NAMI
If you do not have a NAMI affiliate in your county, please contact our state office at (608) 268-6000 or

How to Give Back

NAMI Peer-to-Peer mentors are volunteers who become certified by attending and graduating from a 3-day training. The training is designed for mentors to learn and practice specific skills that will guarantee a meaningful and informative educational experience for all participants. After the training, certified mentors know how to deliver class content; encourage collective thought; and direct energy towards productive outcomes. Mentors make use of a class manual and facilitation skills to ensure participants experiences a safe learning environment. Mentor trainees are required to go through an application and screening process before being approved to attend a training event.

Support a local NAMI Peer-to-Peer program in your community. Our classes utilize volunteers and we are always in need of free spaces to host classes, promotional assistance and monetary or in-kind donations to offset the costs of materials, trainings and refreshments.