Bridges – a NAMI family manual

This is the “how a family can manage mental illness” manual created in 1989 by the Oregon Alliance of Advocates for the Mentally Ill. This Oregon NAMI affiliate prior to the national name change in about 1992. An excellent array of documents scientific, medical, and bureaucratic to seriously answer a lot of questions family members have – and which the Feds and states like Oregon did not make easily available. This is a pre-internet document.


This publication presents papers and reprints of articles aimed at family members of persons with mental illnesses.After an introductory chapter, the second chapter reviews definitions of mental illness, and discusses what is known about medicating such conditions as well as the relationship of substance abuse to mental illness. The next chapter covers mental illness in a family context, including grieving, sibling reactions, communication skills, and crisis management. A chapter on advocacy groups is more specifically focused on resources available in Oregon. Chapter 5 covers the mental health service system, including a history of public mental health treatment in Oregon and descriptions of residential programs and community programs. Chapter 6 discusses the rights of families and clients, confidentiality, and estate planning. The last chapter covers voluntary and involuntary hospitalization. Appendices include a list of 35 recommended readings and a glossary of terms and acronyms

Bridges 1989 (PDF – 156 pages)