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Central Georgia's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports, and more | Macon, Georgia | 13WMAZ.com

NAMI launching Homefront Classes

The Carl Vinson VA is focusing on suicide prevention with classes led by NAMI
Credit: Wanya Reese

DUBLIN, Ga. — Correction: Information that we received from the Carl Vinson Dublin VA was not correct, The National Alliance of Mental Illness says the NAMI Homefront classes will start Saturday, March 2, 2019 and will be led only by NAMI. Executive Director Paula Karsti says the class will be taught by caregivers who take care of someone, caregivers of veterans will learn how to handle active duty service member coming from deployment or a veteran dealing with mental illness.   

The Carl Vinson VA and the National Alliance of Mental Illness is focusing on helping family members of veterans with a free suicide prevention class. 13WMAZ went to the Dublin VA to learn why they decided to launch this new program.

At the VA Medical Center, every veteran has a story, including Darrin Robinson, who enlisted in 1989.

"Went in for airborne training, basic and airborne training, and after that, it was wartime," Darrin Robinson said. 

 He says even now there are some things that still stick with him.

"I know the ins and outs, and I know the trauma, mentally, that we go through, and some guys do not have the ability to handle that," Robinson said. 

That's why suicide prevention coordinator Diane Webb with the Dublin VA says they are taking a new approach to help service members transition to civilian life.

"Homefront course for family members and caregivers of active duty military and veterans who have mental illness," Webb said. 

Webb says the National Alliance of Mental Illness, or NAMI, will offer classes starting in March in Warner Robins.

"There will be courses on how to interact with people, how to de-escalate, how to manage crises situations," Webb said.

You can expect to learn how trauma affects the brain and signs that someone is dealing with mental illness.

"Everyone that is a teacher of the class is either a family member or a veteran of mental illness," Webb said. 

The classes are designed to give veterans like Robinson peace of mind knowing men and women across Central Georgia have a new resource.

Webb says in addition, the classes you can sign up your own organization for the training by contacting the Dublin VA and asking for Diane Webb. 

If you or anyone you know is battling any kind of mental illness, you can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.