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, Konkani, and Marathi.

• 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.



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. Download SAMHAJ Provider Referral List


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



SAMHAJ self-help groups for South Asian families in New Jersey
For family members of individuals with serious mental illnesses:
1st Thursday of the month
7:00 – 8:30pm
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 – 8:30pm
NAMI NJ office, 1562 Route 130, North Brunswick, NJ 08902



Promoting Success Reducing Stress Workshops
NAMI NJ’s SAMHAJ & CAMHOP programs are pleased to present a special series of workshops that will provide information and support on mental health and wellness targeted at parents of children in high school.

Date & Time: Thursdays,  April 24, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: John P. Stevens High School
855 Grove Ave, Edison, NJ 08820
Register Here



• 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.)

• Asha’s Journey (comic book)

SAMHAJ has published Asha’s Journey, a comic book account of a young Indian-American woman’s struggle with bipolar disorder. This comic book was illustrated by Theodore Riddle, an artist with bipolar disorder himself, and shows how individuals and families can cope with serious mental illness, and hope for recovery with the right kind of treatment & support.



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


I Am…Women’s Personal Development Workshop

NAMI NJ and SAMHAJ presented “I AM…Women’s Personal Development” in September 2012, an invigorating workshop specifically designed to help South Asian women to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their closest relationships. Presenters were Kumlaish Kumari, Trainer, Consultant & Hypnotherapist, and Bijay Minhas, LSw, NLP Coach Practitioner.

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.