Staying Engaged with Program Participants: NAMI Family Insight Evenings

NAMI Family Insight Evenings (FIE) is an innovative pilot program developed by NAMI Barrington Area. The goal of the program is to answer that question that comes up when a NAMI program is completed: “Now what?” FIE is for graduates of Family-to-Family and those in Family Support Groups who are looking for continued learning and support. It mixes education and support in a structured collaborative way providing education and actionable tools on a given topic. Each 1 ½-hour FIE program is broken into three parts: Facilitator Insight Sharing on the topic, small group discussion, and recapping key learnings. Topics have included Isolation, Anosognosia, and Grief. The conference presentation will cover how to rollout the program and will take the group through a mock FIE session, Let’s Talk Anxiety, to experience how it works.

Presenter Bios:

Jeanine Mackintosh is a co-creator and group facilitator for the NAMI Barrington Area Family Insights program. Having two family members who have been diagnosed with mental illness, Jeanine is passionate about teaching others about the importance of self-care, and equipping them with skills to deal effectively with loved ones who struggle with mental illness.  Jeanine worked in pediatrics at Rush Medical Center for 15 years as a Child Life Specialist.  During her 15 years, she worked with children, adolescents, and young adults struggling with eating disorders and body image disorders.  She has worked with patients with chronic diseases, and provided psychosocial support and education to both patients and their families.  Jeanine also worked as an Addictions Counselor at Rosecrance where she provided individual and group counseling.  She holds a Master of Arts degree in Community and Family Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Life Therapy, both from Northeastern Illinois University, and a certificate in Addictions Counseling.

 Carrie McCune, another of the co-creators and facilitators of Family Insight Evenings, holds a B.S. in Sociology and Psychology from Elmhurst College and an M.S. in Sociology from Lewis University. She spent two years as a Case Manager at Family Guidance Center, an outpatient substance abuse treatment center in Chicago.  She also worked as a Media Affairs Specialist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Chicago. Carrie currently works in Special Ed classes in Crystal Lake, IL, including the ASPIRE program that serves students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Carrie began her work with NAMI after taking Family to Family to help her gain more insight into her husband’s mental illness. 

Tracy Sherva, co-creator and facilitator of Family Insight Evenings,is a graduate of Purdue University with a BS in Nutrition and Business.  In 2012, she retired from a long career in the food industry to focus on advocating and supporting those whose lives are touched by mental illness.  Tracy is an active member of the NAMI Barrington Area Board of Directors where she helps organize speaker meetings, manages their website and email communication, and is a Family Support Facilitator.  She is also active within her church, presenting a 5-part series on mental illness for faith communities.  Having a loved one with a severe mental illness, Tracy is passionate about helping others navigate finding support, education and serenity while coping with mental illness.