Some places for families to start gathering information on services for the mentally ill, or referrals:

Mental Health Public Inquiries Section: 443-4513.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (lists local family support groups): 783-6393.

Mental Health Association (MHA) of D.C.: 462-1122.

MHA of N. Virginia: 536-4100.

MHA of Alexandria: 548-0010.

MHA of Prince George's County: 577-3140.

MHA of Montgomery County: 949-1255.

Among upcoming sessions:

"Coping with Mental Illness in the Home," a talk by Agnes Hatfield, president of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 7 p.m. tomorrow at Woodson Senior High School in D.C. Sponsored by Threshold of D.C. Hatfield will speak on the same topic at 7:30 p.m. May 10, at the Montgomery County Office Building Auditorium, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. For information: 783-6393.

"Living with the Mentally Ill," a free workshop 7:30 to 10 p.m. April 19 at Falls Church High School. Sponsored by the advisory committee of the Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute. 536-4100.

"Care Persons with Chronic Mental Illness," first annual convention of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Maryland June 3-4 at the College of Notre Dame, Baltimore. 229-7811.