2012 Walk


NAMI New Jersey held its statewide NAMI Walk on Saturday, May 12 at Seaside Park, NJ. Over 1500 individuals, representing a broad spectrum of mental health advocates, attended the Walk, which was held on the boardwalk on a bright sunny day. The Walk has raised over $135,000 that will help provide education, support, and advocacy for those affected by mental illness and their families. Donations can be contributed both online and by mail until June 30, 2012.

Individuals and families affected by mental illness were the strongest presence, and were energized by the feeling of solidarity and support in the crowd. Extended families brought large teams to support a loved one who was affected by mental illness, and made it a festive affair, with colorful team T shirts. Chris Bosco, who put together a team of 49 family members and friends, said “The walk was a great opportunity to share a day of fun and laughs by the beach and illustrate that mental illnesses are treatable illnesses like any other.”

Speakers included Brigadier General Grant, the head of the National Guard in New Jersey, Senator Menendez, and Congressman John Runyan.



Please upload your pictures and videos to our Facebook page or send us the links to your online albums so we can have more pictures and videos to share from the spectacular Walk day!

2012 NAMI NJ Walk – Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting
2012 NAMI NJ Walk – Zumba, Music, Clown, Boardwalk & Beach
2012 NAMI NJ Walk – Walkers
2012 NAMI NJ Walk – Groups
2012 NAMI NJ Walk – Volunteers


Press Coverage

Seaside walk raises $114G: Mental health awareness promoted during event

Asbury Park Press article on the walk.

An inspiring article about Eric Arauz, NAMI NJ Walk Chair and Desert Storm Veteran: Reinterpreting life after mental illness.

NAMI-Sussex will join statewide walk May 12

Mental illness is a disease: NAMI NJ en Español calls on community to walk for the cause; starts local support groups


SAMHAJ (South Asian)

SAMHAJ_tSAMHAJ (Understanding Mental Health)

provides support, education and advocacy for South Asians affected by serious mental illness. South Asians of Asian Indian and Pakistani origin, as well as those from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives are welcome to seek support and information from SAMHAJ.

SAMHAJ provides:
• Support for families and individuals affected by mental illness through support groups, and referrals to bilingual and culturally competent mental health services. We offer a supportive environment to help you and your family to learn to navigate the often complicated mental health system. Our South Asian staff and volunteers speak Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Gujarati, Konkani, and Marathi.

•Professional guest speakers are invited to speak at educational workshops and lectures on issues that are important to your family’s journey towards recovery. Workshops cover subjects such as psychiatric medication, social security disability, rehabilitation and vocational training, coping with caregiver stress and anxiety, children’s mental health and many more topics.

• Workshops for mental health providers, other social service agencies and schools seeking to learn more about the rapidly growing South Asian community in New Jersey in order to provide culturally competent services.

• Volunteer opportunities for people interested in giving back to the community through service. Contact samhaj@naminj.org for more information.

SAMHAJ Provider Referral List
SAMHAJ has compiled referral lists of bilingual mental health providers in order to benefit South Asian families and individuals seeking bilingual services. This referral list is made available to consumer, families and providers free of cost. Please note that NAMI NJ and its SAMHAJ program do not recommend or guarantee services from any provider or facility on the referral list.

Professional Advisory Group
Mental health providers seeking to promote awareness, increase cultural competence, promote networking and dialogue.


For family members of individuals with serious mental illnesses:
1st Thursday of the month 7:00 – 8:30 pm
NAMI NJ office, 1562 Route 130, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

For peers with lived experience of mental illness:
3rd Wednesday of the month 7:00 – 8:30 pm
NAMI NJ office, 1562 Route 130, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Upcoming Presentations at the Support Group

Zumba Demo – August 7
Presenter: Laura Fechter

PLAN NJ Presentation on Special Needs Trust- September 4
Presenter: to be announced

Ask the Doctor- October 2
Presenter: Dr. Jagwinder Sandu

Take the fear out of stress and take control of your life!
Presenter: Bena Long, MSW
Date and time: Thursday, July 30, 2014, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
Location: Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care,
671 Hoes Lane West, 1st Floor,
Gymnasium, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Annual Family Picnic
Date: Sunday August 24th, 2014
Location: Bicentennial Park Grove B,
176 Hardenburg Ln
East Brunswick, NJ 0881
Time: 11:00 am-5:00 pm



• SAMHAJ Brochure

• SAMHAJ highlight of the”Documenting Our Presence: Multicultural Experiences of Mental Illness“, an educational video by NAMI NJ. (Click here for more information about the complete video.)



Each year, SAMHAJ offers an opportunity for members and supporters to come together and celebrate our community of support and share stories of courage and hope. The event highlights the fact that finding support and comfort in your own community is an important part of wellness and recovery. Dec. 7, 2013Dec. 9, 2012, Dec. 2, 2011, Dec. 1, 2010, Dec. 3, 2009, Dec. 4, 2008


Parenting Presentations & Workshops

NAMI NJ and SAMHAJ presented “Parenting Workshops” in March & April 2014, in Edison High Schools, NJ a special series of workshops to provide information and support for parents of teenagers. Presenters were Priya Gopalan, LMSW, Aparna Kalbag, Ph.D, Bindu Khanna, MD, Bijay Minhas, LSW, MSW, Vasu Nacha, MA, Hina Pant, Ph.D, Neeru Narang,LPC & Grace HU.

Disha – A Journey of Hope

SAMHAJ held an evening of celebration to benefit the program on March 22, 2009, at North Brunswick Township High School. Over 200 community members gathered to show their support for the cause, and to enjoy an evening of entertainment that included elegant Kathak and Bharatanatyam dance by Neha Sehgal and the Shishya School of Performing Arts, and lively popular music by Central Jersey singers Hidden Gems.