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 Facebook Page

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 for more information.

Download 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 people with mental illness, 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.

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



SAMHAJ central Jersey
Support Group
For peers with lived experience of mental illness:SAMHAJ North Jersey
Support Group
1st Thursday of the month
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
NAMI NJ office, 1562 Route 130, North Brunswick, NJ 08902
3rd Tuesday of the month
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Moving Forward Community Wellness Center,
25 Elizabeth Street, 2nd Floor, Suite H, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
1st Sunday of the month
2:00 pm- 4:00 pm
Location: Parsippany- Troy Hills Public Library Systems
449 Halsey Rd, Parsippany, NJ 07054


201720162015 - Central/North Jersey
- Navigating the Mental Health System IFSS by Parantap Pandya

Upcoming Events:
- All Peers - All Supports by Elena Kravitz on April 6th at 7 p.m., North Brunswick NAMI NJ
- Effective Communication & Expression of Feelings, by Sudha Nagarajan on May 4th, 7-8:30 p.m.
- What is Mental Health? by Kavita Pallod on June 1st, 7-8:30 p.m.
- SAMHAJ Picnic - July 29th
- SAMHAJ Celebration Party - November 5th
- Schools Presentations
- Districts reached include Edison, South Brunswick, Monroe, Basking Ridge, as well as school counselors associations.
- "Children's Mental Health Symposium" in Lawrenceville, NJ
- Music Therapy by Akash Bhatia
- Social Security Presentation
- Film Screening on "Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi" at RWJUH New Brunswick
- Self Care & Stress Management

- Women's Forum & Kerala Piravi 2016 at Edison, NJ
- Indo-American Festivals at Edison, NJ
- Rutgers RAAG at Rutgers, New Brunswick
- "Yoga for Wellness" by Rajan Narayanaswamy
- "Mindfulness & Neuroscience" by Suruchi Saini
- "Promoting Success Reducing Stress" at South Brunswick High School & St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Dover, NJ
- "Coming Out Coming Home" South Asian Family Acceptance and LGBTQ Youth at Rutgers University
- "Healthy Living: Freedom from Dependence on Alcohol and other Substances" by Dr. Lily Arora
- "Ask The Doctor: Understanding Mental Health" by Bindu Khanna, M.D.

- Agraj Seva Kendra at East Brunswick

Slides for the Presentations on

Presenter: Dr. Jagwinder Sandu



• 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.)




SAMHAJ organized a first of a kind discussion on LGBTQ issues in the South Asian community on April 20th. Coming Out, Coming Home: South Asian Family Acceptance and LGBTQ Youth was a great success!Thank you to everyone – speakers, volunteers, attendees for supporting this event and starting a very important dialogue.


Coming Out, Coming Home- Presenters were Aruna Rao, Associate Director of NAMI NJ, Sudha Wadhwani, PsyD. – Clinical Psychologist, Saranya Ganapathy – Student Advocate, Razia Kosi, LCSW – Co-Founder of Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians,Inc. (CHAI), Naz Seenauth – Student Activist and Hima Sethian.


SAMHAJ special support group presentation,” Yoga For Wellness” presented by Rajan Narayanswamy. You can read more about him and his style of teaching at and


SAMHAJ is proud to present a discussion with Subrina Singh. Subrina speaks about her journey with bipolar disorder and the importance of remaining positive.Currently, Subrina is a master’s candidate in South Asian Studies at Columbia University and is a contributing author of Her Name is Kaur.Subrina speaks out about her experience with bipolar disorder as a blogger on HuffPostBlog and as a writer on


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.


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.


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.