Multicultural Outreach

As a grassroots organization, NAMI NJ is devoted to breaking stigma and barriers of all types that our diverse communities face. We are especially sensitive to the concept of mutual caring and responsibility implicit in family relationships and reaching out in that context to families from various cultures that are affected by serious mental illness. NAMI NJ has gained considerable expertise in the area of multicultural outreach, advocacy, and program development. AACT-NOW (African American), CAMHOP (Chinese American), NAMI NJ En Español (Latinx) and SAMHAJ (South Asian) are four NAMI NJ innovative multicultural programs that outreach to African American, Chinese American, Latinx and South Asian families with services in education, support and advocacy. The programs also provide education for mental health providers to help them better understand cultural and treatment issues relevant to these populations.

NAMI NJ Received the 2014 American Psychiatric Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health


NAMI NJ Multicultural Conversations Webinar Series

NAMI NJ is committed to serving New Jersey’s diverse communities and is hosting a webinar series this year – NAMI NJ Multicultural Conversations. Our four multicultural programs (serving African American, Hispanic/Latinx, South Asian and Chinese American communities) will help facilitate meaningful, culturally-sensitive dialogues on various mental wellness topics. Let’s come together and talk about mental health and culture!


AACT-NOW (African American Mental Health Outreach) 

AACT-NOW is a NAMI NJ initiative serving New Jersey’s African American communities which include individuals and families affected by mental illness, the faith community, and mental health professionals. AACT-NOW provides culturally competent support, education and advocacy in the northern, central and southern regions of New Jersey, through free services such as support groups, phone referral, community workshops and other outreach activities.


CAMHOP-NJ (Chinese American Mental Health Outreach Program in New Jersey)

CAMHOP-NJ is a NAMI NJ initiative to help people of Chinese origin (including immigrants from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and their descendants) in New Jersey gain better understanding about mental illness as a biological based and treatable disease. Our free services include support groups, referral services, advocacy, NAMI Family-to-Family Education Course in Chinese, community workshops, and educational materials in Chinese.


NAMI NJ en Español

NAMI NJ en Español is an awareness & education program developed by NAMI NJ serving the Hispanic/Latino community in New Jersey. It offers local self-help support groups, referral services, NAMI Family-to-Family Education Course in Spanish, community workshops, and other outreach activities.


SAMHAJ (South Asian Mental Health Awareness in Jersey)

SAMHAJ is a NAMI NJ initiative to help South Asians (of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepali, Afghan and Bhutanese origin) in New Jersey understand that mental illness is a biologically based and treatable illness. Our free services include support groups, referral services, advocacy, community workshops, and other outreach activities. This program won the NAMI 2002 Multicultural Award.


NAMI NJ Documentary “Documenting Our Presence: Multicultural Experiences of Mental Illness

Documenting Our Presence: Multicultural Experiences of Mental Illness” was produced in 2007 as a NAMI NJ Multicultural Outreach Initiative with the support of NAMI – National Alliance of Mental Illness and NJ Division of Mental Health Services. This documentary is a compassionate, hopeful look at the experiences of people of diverse backgrounds, affected by serious mental illness. It traces their lives through a cultural lens, focusing on the onset of mental illness, the process of coping and acceptance, and finally, their journey to recovery. To order a copy please visit NAMI NJ Store.


Recommended Material:

Health Beliefs Toolkit
Concha, M, Villar, M.E., & Azevedo, L, (2014) Health Attitudes and Beliefs Tool Kit, Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.

NAMI Identity and Cultural Dimensions:

Asian American and Pacific Islander & Expectations and Family Pressure
Black/African American & The Effects of Racial Trauma on Mental Health: Deaths Captured on TV and Media
Indigenous & Suicide Prevention in Indigenous Communities
Hispanic/Latinx & Hispanic/Latinx Immigrants and First-Generation Americans & La salud mental en la comunidad latina
LGBTQI & Trauma and Internalized Shame
People with Disabilities & Double Discrimination

NAMI Middlesex Fall Speaker Series – Psychiatric Crisis Intervention Services

Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, in collaboration with NAMI Middlesex County and Intensive Family Support Services of Middlesex County (IFSS), invites you to a virtual presentation via Zoom featuring Speaker: Sharon Smith-Kemper, LCSW, LCADC, Program Manager, Acute Psychiatric Services, Rutgers UBHC.

In this enlightening session, you’ll gain insights into New Jersey’s screening law, learn what to expect when calling the UBHC screening center, and explore the latest developments in Acute Psychiatric Services (APS) outreach. Discover there partnerships with local police, including the Arrive Together initiative and Crisis Intervention Training. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your questions answered!

Register in advance via the following link: Register Here| Download Flyer

NAMI Union County April Presentation

April’s Presentation: “Bridgeway Behavioral Health Services” on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Bridgeway Behavioral Health Services is a powerhouse provider of services that aids persons with mental illness. Join us to hear Nancy Schneeloch, BSW, MS, Vice President for Supportive Housing, Homeless Outreach, and Justice Involved Services, present an overview of the many Bridgeway services available in Union County. Learn more

Register here

Invisible Pain Day

Sunday, January 7, 2024
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Thanks to overwhelming support from the community, the 3rd annual observance of the Invisible Pain Day was successfully held virtually on Sunday, January 7, 2024. The Darren Clark Jr. Memorial and NAMI NJ would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who showed up to support. It was another memorable day, with a lot of love, tears and smiles.

The Invisible Pain Day is an official day to honor those who have lost a loved one to mental illness and suicide. Governor Murphy issued an annual proclamation, from 2022 to 2024, to designate January 7th as Invisible Pain Day: honoring those who have lost their battle to mental illness and calling local communities to work together in eradicating the stigma and raising awareness of mental illness. Read the Governor’s Proclamation

Every year, we come together to encourage and support one another, bring awareness to mental illness, and honor our loved ones who may be gone, but will never be forgotten. We will spread hope and share vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help. We share this day with our friends, family, and others who have suffered a loss of a loved one by suicide and as NAMI New Jersey says, “You are not alone.”

The unseen pain that goes undiagnosed, dismissed and stigmatized. The pain that has overtaken so many loved ones to the point that they can no longer bear the struggle and sadly causes many to end their lives prematurely. Friends and family support the grieving ones during their time of tragedy. The fresh memory of the departed ones and the support is comforting. Unfortunately this support fades over time. The people around “move on” with their lives and may not fathom why the sadness and pain still exist for the grieving, who continue to relive the tragedy and bear the continuous pain.

Featured Event Highlights:
– Guest Speakers
– Exhibitors/Resource Sharing
– Loving Messages
– Mindfulness Activities
– Sensory Room
– Candlelight Vigil
– Vocalist

Event contact: Lisa Powell, NAMI NJ Outreach Director, [email protected]

Watch’s Documentary: Ending the Stigma, Mental health in the Black community


Other ways to participate in the Invisible Pain Day

If you would like to participate in this special event but cannot attend, consider the following ways to make this a memorable occasion for you and others:

  • Email us a special note and/or a picture! Every thought is cherished when it comes to commemorating someone whom you love, encouraging those who share the grieving experience, and caring for yourself. We will incorporate these special notes and photos to the program of the Day. We thank families who have submitted a photo or message. If you would still like to send one in, please email [email protected] with a completed Media Release Form.
  • Spread the word. Tell your family and friends about this special annual occasion. Someone out there may need to hear about an opportunity like this at the turn of the year.
  • Support us with a donation. Your financial contribution goes a long way toward sustaining this annual occasion to support and honor families who grieve. Donate today


About The Darren Clark Jr Memorial
The Darren Clark Jr. Memorial was founded on April 5th, 2018 in memory of Darren Clark Jr., Darren passed away on January 7th, 2018, as a result of suicide due to mental illness. Read more


NAMI Middlesex County & IFSS Fall Speaker Series

NAMI Middlesex County in collaboration with Intensive Family Support Services of Middlesex County (IFSS) Invites you to attend their ‘Fall Speaker Series’ Virtual Presentations via Zoom – Time: 5:00-7:00 pm

November 8, 2021

“Maximizing Appropriate Responses from Acute Psychiatric Crisis Intervention Services”

Speaker: Greg Fitzpatrick, LCSW, Director of Emergency Services, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care

During this learning session, the presenter will explain NJ screening law and new developments in Acute Psychiatric Services (APS) outreach.  The presenter will share information regarding what police departments, psychiatric screening centers, and other agencies are doing to improve outcomes of interactions with psychiatric emergency response personnel.  Greg Fitzpatrick, Director of Emergency Services at Rutgers UBHC, including the Middlesex County psychiatric screening center, will present feedback on the education and training provided to officers and the important steps to get a loved one support during an emergency situation. Don’t miss this informative session that will provide an opportunity to have your questions answered!

Register in advance for this meeting at:

(After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please do not hesitate to reach IFSS at 732-235-6184, or NAMI Middlesex at 732-745-0709, if you have questions or need additional assistance.)

Download flyer