NAMI New Jersey programs

NAMI New Jersey coordinates a variety of programs to provide education on mental illness. These programs make it possible for people with mental illness, family members, health care providers, educators, law enforcement officers, and the general public to learn the facts about mental illness.


Family-To-Family Education

Family-To-Family Education is a peer family education program designed to foster learning, healing and empowerment among families of individuals with serious mental illness. The NAMI NJ Family-To-Family Education course is a 12-week program for families of individuals diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness. The curriculum focuses on three major psychiatric illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression), and emphasizes the clinical treatment of these illnesses. The curriculum also presents the knowledge and the skills that family members need when faced with the problems of mental illness. There is no fee to participants. NAMI NJ provides the training for the NAMI NJ Family Educator volunteers and the funding for course materials.


In Our Own Voice

In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a NAMI program,developed nationally and sponsored round the state by NAMI NJ, designed to train individuals with various mental health conditions, to give presentations about their illness and recovery. The program is a powerful tool for community education and reducing stigma by putting a human face on an often misunderstood area of human suffering.


NAMI Family Support Group

NAMI Family Support Group is a peer-led support group for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar circumstances.


NAMI Connection

NAMI Connection is a weekly recovery support group for people living with mental illness in which people learn from each others’ experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding.


School Education Programs

NAMI NJ School Education Programs goals are to educate children and adults about mental health and mental illness and to provide educators with knowledge and strategies that help children and teens succeed in school and lead successful lives. Its programs have been developed in partnership with the NJ Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the NJ Psychiatric Association.

• Educating the Educators

• Every Mind Matters


Children Information Services

Families with children with special mental health needs benefit from the support and expertise of organizations whose staff know first-hand the issues they confront every day. At the same time, families need to connect with each other. Doing so provides support, the chance to share valuable information, and the opportunity to advocate for their children. NAMI NJ is dedicated to supporting children and young families by providing educational programs and a comprehensive resource directory.

• NAMI Basics

• Children Information E-News

• Children Resource Directory


Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Network

The NAMI NJ Dara Axelrod Expressive Arts Network promotes opportunities for creative efforts to lessen the stigma surrounding mental illness, provides opportunities for artists and writers affected by mental illness to showcase their work, and promotes the use of the expressive arts as a mode of self expression.


Hearts and Minds

Research has demonstrated that people living with severe psychiatric conditions may have an increased risk of heart disease and related conditions. NAMI New Jerseys Hearts & Minds program seeks to raise awareness and provide information on diabetes, diet, exercise, and smoking.


Veterans Information Program

NAMI New Jersey’s focus for veterans support is educating its members and the mental health community on veterans and their families’ unique needs and culture, supporting veterans and/or their families with serious mental illnesses, and working in cooperation and coordination with New Jersey State and Federal Veterans Affairs leadership to advocate for veteran services.


Law Enforcement Education

The NAMI NJ Law Enforcement Education Program is dedicated to ensuring that law enforcement officers and recruits receive mental illness education, and to promoting cooperation and communication between county criminal justice and mental health systems throughout the state.


Multicultural Outreach

As a self-help organization, NAMI NJ is 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.

AACT-NOW! (African American Community Takes New Outreach Worldwide)

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


SAMHAJ (South Asian Mental Health Awareness Program)

“Documenting Our Presence: Multicultural Experiences of Mental Illness”


NIMH Outreach Partnership

NAMI NJ is one of the 51 organizations around the country partnering with the National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH) to conduct mental health outreach and education for the public, health professionals, K-12 schools, minorities and other populations such as youth and older adults using mental health-related information provided by NIMH or other sources.


Clinical Trials & Research Projects Information

NAMI NJ compiles statewide and nationwide research projects and clinical trials related to mental disorders.  Potential participants should contact listed contact person for the specific project or trial. Recruiting agencies can contact Aruna Rao, NAMI NJ Associate Director, at for submission details.


Mental Illness Awareness Week

Every year, the first week of October is designated as a week to raise awareness about serious mental illness. NAMI affiliates plan several events, including iris plantings, candlelight vigils, displays in public libraries and other similar events.


NAMI New Jersey Awards

NAMI New Jersey presents awards to recognize the efforts of mental health advocates to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness. These award are presented to affiliate leaders, individuals and families affected by mental illness, community leaders, mental health service providers, law enforcement officers, educators, legislators, media – in short anyone who steps up to make a difference!