2017 Annual Conference



8:30 AM    Registration & Breakfast

9:30 AM    Welcome

Mark Perrin, MD, President, NAMI NJ

Sylvia Axelrod, MA, Executive Director, NAMI NJ

9:45 AM    Opening Remarks

Valerie L. Mielke, MSW, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services

10:00 AM    Overview: Transforming Care for First Episode Psychosis in NJ

Steve Silverstein, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Rutgers University;

Melissa J. Sampath, MA, LAC, Clinical Manager, Care Plus NJ, Inc.;

Alyson Hague, LCSW-Team Leader/Outreach and Referral Specialist, Rutgers;

David Sauder, LCSW, ACSW, Team Leader, Oaks Integrated Care;                

James Castorina, MA, LAC, Outreach and Recruitment Specialist, Oaks Integrated Care


AJ Mendez

Keynote Bio:

AJ Mendez Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of CRAZY IS MY SUPERPOWER. With humor and tremendous heart, AJ opens up about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and gain control over her life. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspiration for her superhero persona. Charting her journey from a scrappy girl in an unstable home to empowered WWE champion, Crazy Is My Superpower is an unflinchingly honest and bravely confessional story about the long road to self-acceptance.

AJ is a New Jersey native, Florida transplant, and Illinois resident. A former professional wrestler with the WWE, she has won numerous wrestling awards and championships. She studied film and television production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently works with several animal rescue, youth-oriented non-profit, and mental health awareness organizations.


12:00 PM  Book Signing: CRAZY IS MY SUPERPOWER

12:15 PM   Lunch Buffet

1:15 PM     Recovery Oriented Cognitive Therapy

Paul M. Grant, PhD, Assistant Professor, Aaron T. Beck Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

A Tribute to Sylvia Axelrod, NAMI NJ Executive Director
2:15 PM – 4:00 PM

In a special afternoon event starting at 2:00p.m., NAMI NJ will be celebrating our Executive Director, Sylvia Axelrod’s twenty five years of service to NAMI New Jersey.

You are invited to register for this special event by emailing Lisa Powell at lpowell@naminj.org or call (732) 940-0991.

If you would like to support this event to honor Sylvia’s work, please download the Support & Journal Advertisement Confirmation Form here.


Registration Opens September 1st.

Early Bird Discount Deadline: Friday, October 20, 2017
General Registration Rate Deadline: Monday, November 20, 2017


Sponsorship Opportunities

See Sponsorship Brochure

Complete online form here