AACT-NOW (African American)

AACT-NOW_logo_sAACT-NOW! (African American Community Takes New Outreach Worldwide) is an exciting initiative of NAMI New Jersey to connect with NJ’s African-American families affected by mental illness, mental health consumers, the faith community and mental health professionals to provide culturally competent support, education and advocacy. AACT-NOW! goals are to dispel the misconceptions surrounding mental illness and to create an anti-stigma environment for those seeking treatment.

Program Contact: Cynthia Miles, Program Coordinator

(732) 940-0991, or e-mail aactnow@naminj.org

AACT-NOW! Facebook Page


Program Activities:

• Formation of an African American Outreach Advisory Group composed of individuals from the African American Community including consumers, family members, clergy, mental health and other professionals.

• Development of AACT-NOW! – an initiative established to help African American families and those affected by mental illness to promote awareness, provide resources and act as a support system.

• Community Outreach and Networking (fairs, conferences, festivals, etc.)

• Development of partnerships and jointly sponsored events.


Support Groups:


Central Jersey group

3rd Thursday of the month, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens
771 Somerset St, Somerset, NJ 08873
Contact: Cynthia at (732) 940-0991


Southern Jersey group

3rd Tuesday of the month, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
(in December it will be on the second Tuesday 12/13 6:30-8:30)
Alpha Baptist Church
15 Rose Street, Cares Bldg., Room #6, Willingboro, N.J. 08046
Contact: Winifred at 609-265-0746


Young Adult Society

Youth Adult Society is a social group that offers recreational activities to young adults aged 21 to 35 who have mental health concerns. This group evolved to provide opportunities for social interaction. Activities which are selected by its members include movies, picnics, pizza parties theatrical and sports events, etc. Transportation will be provided by the participants and their families. The activities of this group are recreational, but beyond that Youth Adult Society is a place where you will find acceptance and friendship. For more information about this group, contact Winifred at 609-265-0746 or SJsocietyofadults@gmail.com. Download the Young Adult Society pdf here.


NAMI Family-to-Family

This program covers information on all the major brain disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, with up-to-date information on symptoms, treatment, community resources, and medications, feelings of those affected by mental illness and issues, concerns and hope for their families, friends care-givers and kin. There is one requirement: participants must have a family member, spouse, friend or significant others with a mental health concern. Open to all races and ethnic groups. Confidential. No Fee. Registration is required. Contact Winifred at 609 234 4257 to register and/or for information. 

Download a Family-to-Family Class Overview

Download a Family-to-Family Class Application

Upcoming Class:
Mondays starting March 19 – June 11, 2018
7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Virtua Memorial Hospital, Conference Center, 175 Madison Ave., Mt. Holly, NJ.
For more information and registration: 609 234 4257 (Winifred)
Download Flyer | Download Application


AACT-NOW Advisory Meetings

The AACT-NOW Advisory meets bi-monthly on the 3rd Wednesday evenings of every month (unless otherwise notified), 6-8pm at the NAMI NJ office, 1562 Route 130, North Brunswick, NJ. RSVP cynthmiles@naminj.org.


The Onset Program

The Onset Program is an AACT-NOW program currently being presented to houses of worship regarding the onset of mental illness in college-bound students. For more information on this program, contact Jacquese Armstrong, the author of this program, or you can call the NAMI NJ office at 732-940-0991.


AKA-NAMI Partnership

Starting in 2015, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) and NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, are working together to increase mental health awareness in the African American community. AKA Chapters in NJ are working with NAMI NJ’s AACT-NOW program to educate African Americans about mental health, treatment and recovery. Together, we can help communities access much needed treatment services and support.

To find the AKA Chapter in your area go to http://ow.ly/GoAPX.

Winifred Chain receives a donation for the Walk from the Health Committee of the Theta Pi Omega, AKA Sorority.


AACT-NOW - AKA Picture 1

Robert and Winifred Chain of AACT-NOW with Allyson Morgan, Alia Pelle, and Arriel Miles from AKA Omicron Xi Omega Chapter.

AACT-NOW - AKA Picture 2

Robert and Winifred Chain of AACT-NOW with Natasha Mc Seed from AKA Upsilon Delta Omega Chapter.

AACT-NOW - AKA Picture 3

Winifred Chain, AACT-NOW Southern Region Coordinator, at Women Empowerment Brunch in Burlington County giving a mental health talk and information about AACT-NOW.











Past Events:

2010 African American Conference on Mental Health

October 30, 2010
Days Hotel & Conference Center, East Brunswick, NJ


2009 African American Conference on Mental Health

NAMI NJ successfully presented an African American Conference on Mental Health in October 2009 at Rutgers University Labor Education Center in New Brunswick. Over 150 African American mental health professionals and families attended the conference. Click to download the Keynote Presentation, “Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in the African American Communities“, by King Davis, PhD, Professor and Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy, the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

Conference Video:


Conference Photos