Education & Advocacy

Advocate for Better Care

Stark County Mental Health & Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) requires each service provider agency to appoint a Client’s Rights Coordinator and alternate to be available to discuss concerns from consumers, family members or advocates regarding adherence to the list of consumer’s rights.

If you would like further information, contact StarkMHAR’s Client’s Rights Coordinator/Ombudsman at 330-455-6644.

Ohio Citizens Advocates for Addiction Recovery

Working to empower people in recovery, their family members, and other allies to become effective advocates for policies and services that support their sustained recovery and to reduce the stigma associated with addiction.

NAMI Awareness, Education & Advocacy Resources

From its inception in 1979, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in NAMI’s mission by grassroots advocates have produced profound changes. Due in large part to generous individual, corporate and foundation donations, NAMI is able to build on its success and continue to focus on three cornerstones of activity that offer hope, reform and health to our American community: Awareness, Education and Advocacy.

Awareness and Support: A Pathway to Recovery

NAMI’s support and public education efforts are focused on educating America about mental illness, offering resources to that in need, and insisting that mental illness become a high national priority. Mental illness is a serious medical illness that affects one in four families. No one is to blame. Treatment works, but only half of people living with mental illness receive treatment. NAMI has engaged in a variety of activities to create awareness about mental illness and promote the promise of recovery.

Education: The Face and Voice of Mental Illness

NAMI offers an array of peer education and training programs, initiatives and services for individuals, family members, health care providers and the general public. NAMI’s education and support programs provide relevant information, valuable insight and the opportunity to engage in support networks. These programs draw on the lived experience of individuals who have learned to live well with mental illness and have been extensively trained to help others, as well as the expertise of mental health professionals and educators. NAMI and volunteer grassroots leaders are committed to education as the pathway to recovery, empowerment and wellness. In addition to education programs and initiatives offered through NAMI National, many of NAMI’s over 1,100 affiliates offer an array of support and education programs and activities for families and individuals. Many of NAMI’s program offerings are also available in Spanish language and some are also provided by means of translations into other languages.

Advocacy: A Respected Force

NAMI is recognized as the preeminent voice on Capitol Hill and in statehouses across the country for the millions of Americans living with serious mental illness. NAMI advocates have fought for policy changes that raise the bar on mental illness care and promote treatment and research on par with other illnesses. NAMI’s advocacy provides a unique voice for people who live with mental illness and their families in state and federal public and private-sector policies that facilitate research, end discrimination, reduce barriers to successful life in the community and promote timely, comprehensive and effective mental health services and supports. NAMI National and NAMI grassroots leaders work steadily to influence critical national policy debates as they unfold.

Education & Advocacy Programs


This is a free, 12-week educational course available to family and friends of people diagnosed with a serious mental illness. The course, taught by trained family members, describes treatments for mental illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively. The course is highly recommended to those new to the challenges of mental illness, as well as for those who have been dealing with it for years.

The Family-to-Family Education Program was created by Dr. Joyce Burland, a psychologist and family member, and is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This twelve-class course is specially designed for family members and friends of persons experiencing the effects of mental illness. The primary focus is on three major psychiatric illnesses: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression) and major depression. Other topics covered in the program include treatment strategies and coping skills, communication and problem-solving.

Classes are team-taught by intensively trained family members. Participants are encouraged to support each other, to be knowledgeable, and to be effective members of a team that includes the family, the peer, the doctor and the case manager.


Peer-to-Peer is a free, 10-week education program designed to foster learning, healing and empowerment among adults with neurobiological brain disorders (mental illness). This course, sponsored by Stark County’s National Alliance on Mental Illness is taught by trained mentors or peer teachers who are successfully managing their own conditions. The course provides participants with comprehensive information on mental illness. It also teaches strategies for personal and interpersonal awareness, coping skills and promotes effective paths to recovery and wellness. Participants can: Share experiences with peers who are also working toward recovery, gain further insight into mental illness, learn how to manage and cope with circumstances, learn how to be an active participant in any treatment plan and much more.


NAMI Basics is a free six-week course for parents of children with emotional/mental/neurobiological disorders. At NAMI Basics, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope. The group setting of NAMI Basics provides mutual support and shared positive impact – you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You also can help others with your own experience.


NAMI Homefront is a free six-week course for veterans, family members and friends of adults with serious mental illness. Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-to-Family » program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country. The program is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans living with mental health conditions.

Register or Learn More Today

Call 330-455-6264 to pre-register for these free NAMI educational programs or visit NAMI website to find out more information.

How Are You Feeling?

Feeling sad, down or empty? Constantly worried or anxious? Worried about drinking habits or substance use? Experiencing mood swings from very high to very low? If you are concerned about yourself or someone you love, please take a few minutes to complete a quick quiz and get connected with local resources.