April 15, 2014
For Immediate Release
For additional information
Contact: Aruna Rao 
Phone Number: (732) 940-0991 
Email: [email protected] 


Sylvia Axelrod, NAMI NJ Executive Director, to receive PLAN/NJ's Humanitarian Award
Sylvia Axelrod, NAMI NJ Executive Director

North Brunswick, NJ - April 14, 2014 - Sylvia Axelrod, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness of New Jersey (NAMI NJ) will be honored with Humanitarian Award by Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey (PLAN/NJ) at its 25th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 6 pm at the New Jersey Law Center, for her work as a pioneer in the fight for mental health parity legislation promoting comprehensive services for mentally ill chemical abusers and mental health education to reduce the stigma of mental illness across cultures. 


PLAN/NJ announces that 2014 marks its 25th anniversary of service to individuals with severe developmental disabilities and mental health challenges who reside in the state of New Jersey, and to commemorate its anniversary, PLAN/NJ will be hosting a 25th Anniversary Celebration on June 5 at 6 pm at the New Jersey Law Center, located at One Constitution Square in New Brunswick. PLAN/NJ will be honoring Sylvia Axelrod, NAMI NJ Executive Director, along with several other distinguished individuals who have made significant and long-term contributions in improving outcomes and enhancing the quality of life to persons with developmental disabilities or mental health challenges in New Jersey.


Ms. Axelrod has served as Executive Director for more than 22 years at NAMI NJ where shehas initiated a wide range of programs focused on providing education, support and advocacy for families and persons recovering from mental illness including "Educating the Educators" (ETE) and "Every Mind Matters" which improves a better understanding about mental health and destigmatizes mental illness for New Jersey schools. Ms. Axelrod has received numerous national and statewide awards including the New Jersey Community Health Law Project Ann Klein Advocacy Award, the Eli Lilly "Welcome Back" Award for De-stigmatization, the New Jersey Psychiatric Association Citizen of the Year Award and the Carrier Kindred Spirit Award. Ms. Axelrod has served on numerous governmental and stakeholder advisory committees and is currently the Chair of the Governors Council on Mental Health Stigma. Ms. Axelrod previously served as the Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services at South Amboy CMHC and as the Assistant Director of Bridgeway Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center in Union, NJ. 

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NAMI NJ, founded in 1985, is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families who are affected by mental illness through programs of support, education and advocacy.