New near-peer course taught online for struggling teens

The Utah chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) announced last week that they have been able to get their mental health courses for teens up and running online, something that could not happen in person this year because of the pandemic. On KVNU’s For the People program last week, program coordinator Robin Holcomb said this is really good news for young people in the state.

“It certainly is, it’s a big deal and we are just so delighted to be able to offer a mental health education for teens who may need a little extra support during this time. And we’re just thrilled about being able to do this,” said Holcomb.

She explained that NAMI is a peer-based organization, meaning that all of their teachers and facilitators either have a mental health condition or have a family member or loved one that struggles with a mental health condition.

“So, traditionally NAMI hasn’t offered programming for teens because we can’t have 13 or 14-year-olds teaching other teens. But because of the tremendous need, we came up with a work-around and our certified teachers for this course called Progression, which is for teens who have mental health conditions. It is taught by what I call near peers.”

In other words, young adults between the ages of 18 and 28 who first experienced mental illness as teenagers. To get more information on Progression classes and the other courses offered visit


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