The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Maine in collaboration with Mid-Coast Mental Health is sponsoring free Peer-to-Peer Education Programs in Waldo and Knox counties specifically for people diagnosed with mental illness.

The nine-week series of classes will begin Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Mid-Coast Mental Health’s Rockland and Belfast offices. The Rockland class is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Belfast class is from 3 to 5 p.m.

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to enroll, call Bunny at 236-6878 or send an e-mail to ccantybrooks@namimaine.org.

The course provides a full approach to recovery for people with mental illness who are interested in achieving and maintaining wellness. It includes information on individual empowerment, family and peer support, relapse prevention, communication skills, mental illness, general health, coping skills and self-care strategies.

The course is taught by trained NAMI mentors who are successfully managing their own conditions. It follows a structured format in a relaxed and confidential setting and uses a combination of lecture and interactive exercises. The trained mentors are from the Midcoast.

“This course is a wonderful experience. It promotes effective paths to recovery and inspires a commitment to wellness. We hope people who have a mental illness will take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Carol Carothers, executive director of NAMI, Maine.

Mid-Coast Mental Health, with locations in Rockland and Belfast, provides a variety of mental health services for the people of Midcoast Maine, including out-patient and substance abuse counseling, residential care and crisis services.