2013 Annual Conference

2013 NAMI NJ Conference

Despite unexpected early December snow the NAMI NJ Conference was held as scheduled to the delight of the individuals who attended. Presentations were outstanding, our drum circle exercise was great fun, and the buffet lunch was delicious. This year a high of over 320 people registered to attend the Conference.

Highlights of the conference included presentations on diagnosis, mental health treatment, judiciary education and much more. The Power Point presentations of our major presentations have been posted on this site.





Lynn Kovich, M.Ed, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Mental Health & Addiction Services


The Assistant Commissioner provides an overview of the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in this PowerPoint document.



KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Mental Disorders in the Genomic Age

Jay A. Tischfield, PhD, FFACMG, Duncan and Nancy MacMillan Distinguished Professor of Genetics, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Scientific Director & CEO, RUCDR, Executive Director, Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey

TischfieldGenomics and genomics technologies are changing our views about the origins of some mental disorders. In the last five years researchers have established a genetic basis for a significant proportion of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and other disorders. We now know that these diseases can arise from a multitude of genetic (DNA) variations that are either inherited or newly occurring. We also know that diseases such as schizophrenia, autism and Tourette syndrome can arise from variants in many different genes, rather than having a common genetic causation. The challenge is to understand how these many distinct variations can lead to the common symptoms characteristic of each disorder. New research with stem cells induced from blood or skin of patients may shed light on disease mechanisms and allow a new era in drug development. The National Institute of Mental Health Center for Collaborative Genomic Research on Mental Disorders, headquartered at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey serves to coordinate national research efforts in all of these areas. View PowerPoint presentation document.


DISCUSSION: DSM5 and RDoC: Perspectives on Diagnosis & Treatment

Robert Stern_small

Steven Silverstein_small_2


Steven Silverstein, Ph.D. & Robert Stern, M.D.

These distinguished experts discussed the strengths and weaknesses of two initiatives to improve diagnosis and treatment of mental illness: the American Psychiatric Association’s fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project. View presentation files: Dr. Slverstein on RDoC, & Dr. Stern on DSM-5



Luncheon Panel: Expressive Arts & Recovery

Jacquese Armstrong_small               Jason Insalaco_small             Mike Veny_small        Celina Gray_small

This special luncheon panel on using the arts to promote awareness, fight stigma and enable recovery is a response to the White House call for a National Dialogue on Mental Health. Each panelist, with inspiring demonstrations of their artistic productions, presented on how the arts have so powerfully assisted their recovery.


Concurrent Workshops

1.  Finding Success Through High School and Beyond: Discussion Effective Services, Supports, Programs, Activities, and Resources for Children and Young Adults in School and College

2.  Aging Well: Mental Health Among Seniors

3.  Training the Judiciary on Mental Illness

4.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: How it Helps Depression & Anxiety

5.  Caring for Your Whole Body: Hearts, Minds, & More

6.  Ask the Doctor

7.  The Affordable Healthcare Act and its Impact on New Jersey

8.  Thinking Outside the Box: Non-Traditional & Alternative Therapies



This Conference is made possible by our sponsors



Otsuka- Gold

Magellan- Gold



Optum- Silver      Janssen-- Silver         Community Care Logo- Silver

L                            PerformCare-- Silver                       Genentech- Silver

Infinity Foundation-- Silver



Tricore- Bronze



 Scholarship Sponsors

Community Care Logo- Silver